The Pronk Pops Show 1236, April 9, 2019, Breaking News — Story 1: Attorney General Barr Looking Into Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISA) Warrant For Carter Page Based on Opposition Research Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC) — The Christopher Steele Dossier — Total Fabrication and Not Verified by FBI — FISA Court Did Not Hold Any Hearings! (No Transcripts) — Worst Corruption Scandal in United States History — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1218 March 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1217 February 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1216 February 26, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1212 February 20, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1210 February 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1209 February 15, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1204 February 8, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1200 February 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1199 January 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1198 January 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1197 January 23, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1195 January 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1194 January 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1193 January 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1192 January 8, 2019

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Story 1: Attorney General Barr Looking Into Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISA) Warrant For Carter Page Based on Opposition Research Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC) — The Christopher Steele Dossier — Total Fabrication and Not Verified by FBI — FISA Court Did Not Hold Any Hearings! (No Transcripts) — Worst Corruption Scandal in United States History — Videos — 

 

Chaffetz: Barr testimony totally undercuts Dems on Mueller report

WATCH: William Barr’s full opening remarks at House appropriations hearing

WATCH LIVE: Barr faces Mueller Report questions in testimony to House committee

William Barr testifies before congress for first time since receiving Mueller report, live stream

Tom Fitton: Spygate “The Worst Corruption Scandal in American History”

Exclusive: Trump Campaign Adviser Calls for Investigation Into Origins of Russia Collusion Narrative

Mueller report raising questions over the Steele dossier?

How the FISA process actually works

Mark Levin: It’s time for FISA court judges to face scrutiny

Shocking Use of FISA by Obama’s FBI to Spy on Trump Campaign – Exclusive with Tony Shaffer

Events in the 2016 elections were unprecedented. Top FBI officials knowingly used information paid for by the campaign of Hillary Clinton to obtain a #FISA #spy warrant on a member of the #TrumpCampaign. Meanwhile, top Obama administration officials also spied on the campaign, using so-called unmasking requests. Those same FBI agents, however, chose to look the other way when it came to the risks posed by Clinton’s use of a private email server. We now know that emails she send as Secretary of State through that server were automatically copied to an unknown foreign entity. Looking ahead of the 2020 elections, the question is whether the FBI has been reformed enough to make sure political bias don’t influence investigations. Today we sit down with Tony Shaffer, acting president of the London Center for Policy Research. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel in U.S. Army, where he was a senior intelligence officer. Today he’s also an advising producer for National Geographic and a member of the Trump 2020 advisory board.

Exclusive: Why We Need to Investigate the FISA Process—Louie Gohmert

The FISA Court: History, Purpose, and Controversy [No. 86]

G Horowitz Announces Review of DOJ and FBI FISA Procedures ‘Related to a Certain U.S. Person’

Published on Mar 28, 2018

Mark Levin on why Obama may have been spying on Trump

What happens if Obama was involved in illegal surveillance?

Byron York reacts to Clapper denying wiretap of Trump

WATCH: Barr says memo on Mueller investigation was ‘entirely proper’

Trump on border cages: ‘President Obama separated the children’

Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars • FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM • BRAVE NEW FILMS

A whistleblower releases classified documents on Obama’s drone war

How Many Civilians Have Been Killed By US Drones?

Amnesty: Obama should explain why drones killed civilians

Obama admits drone strikes kill innocent Pakistanis

Former Drone Pilots Denounce ‘Morally Outrageous’ Program | NBC News

America’s Ex-Drone Pilot

Bill Barr says he IS reviewing FBI conduct that kicked off Mueller probe as Democrats vow court battle to get un-redacted version of report he says will be out in a week

  • Attorney General William Barr faced members of Congress for the first time on Tuesday since taking office 
  • He said he was trying to get his arms around ‘all the aspects’ of the Russia investigation 
  • Lawmakers asked Barr about plans to release the Mueller report 
  • He said he would make public a redacted version next week
  • After this ‘first pass’ he would consult with Judiciary chairmen
  • Redactions will be color-coded based on four categories
  • He wouldn’t say if the White House had seen the report  
  • Barr’s four-page summary of the report last month set Democrats fuming
  • Barr’s summary said that Mueller found no evidence Trump or his campaign conspired with the Russian government during the campaign
  • The attorney general also determined that there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice
  • Democrats are demanding that the full Mueller report be released

Attorney General Bill Barr told lawmakers Tuesday he was ‘reviewing’ the conduct of the FBI at the start of the Russia probe – an investigation that powerful Republicans including President Trump have demanded.

Barr provided the information during testimony where he also revealed he will make public a redacted version of the Mueller report within a week.

‘I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,’ Barr said at a subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

Barr revealed his top-level review under questioning by top Appropriations subpanel Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama.

The lawmaker was asking the attorney general about former House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes making criminal referrals to DOJ about leaks and other alleged misconduct by the FBI at the start of the Russia probe.

Although such referrals do not have the power to force an investigation, Nunes said they pertained to ‘alleged misconduct during the Russia investigation including the leak of classified material and alleged conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court in order to spy on then-candidate Trump and other persons.’

Aderholt told DailyMail.com that he had not had any additional back-channel conversations with the Justice Department to confirm the extent of the review Barr is conducting.

‘I got the impression that [the matter] was on his radar screen that he was looking at it in a very close manner,’ Aderholt said. ‘I would think in this day and age that when it’s regarding the dossier issue, that’s been a big topic and I think he knows all about it.’

President Trump has repeatedly branded the Mueller probe a ‘witch hunt’ and said after the release of Barr’s letter the conduct by FBI investigators should be looked at. The president repeatedly taunted Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the Russia probe.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) is conducting his own investigation of the origins of the probe, while also probing the FBI’s 2016 Clinton email investigation.

In another key developing Tuesday, Barr said he was sticking to a proposed timeline, an indication that he has made progress in vetting information for redactions from what he will allow to be released.

‘From my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public and then I will engage with the chairmen of both Judiciary Committees about that report,’ Barr testified Tuesday.

But lawmakers at a House subcommittee hearing grilled him about the redactions he would make to the report, and tried to pin him down on what material he would withhold – as well as whether he would ever reveal why it got excised.

Attorney General William Barr testified he should be in a position to release the redacted Mueller report ‘within a week’

‘We will color-code the excisions from the report and we will provide explanatory notes describing the basis for each redaction,’ Barr said, who said Mueller’s team was participating in the redactions.

He said there were four categories of redactions: information presented to grad juries; passages which would reveal intelligence sources and methods; details of ongoing prosecution cases; and information about ‘incidental parties’ which could harm their ‘privacy and reputational interests.’

And Barr also flatly told Democrats that he will not hand over the entire report and its underlying evidence, setting up a major battle with Congress over Mueller.

His appearance in front of one of the House Appropriations Committee subcommittees was the first time he has answered questions on Mueller – but he repeatedly refused to offer any insight into its contents.

Barr would not also directly answer a question about whether the White House had seen the Mueller report, was briefed in advance of Barr’s letter, or had been briefed on its contents.

‘I’ve said what I’m going to say about the report today,’ said Barr. ‘I’ve issued three letters about it. And I was willing to discuss the historic information of how the report came to me and my decision on Sunday,’ Barr said.

‘But I’ve already laid out the process that is going forward to release these reports hopefully within a week, and I’m not going to say anything more about it until the report is out and everyone has a chance to look at it,’ he continued.

He also wouldn’t directly respond to a question about whether President Trump was accurate when he said the report was a ‘complete and total exoneration’ of him.

Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey of New York pointed to a passage in his letter stating that Mueller and his team included information on both sides of whether the president could potentially be charged with obstruction of justice.

‘I’m not going to discuss it any further until after the report is out,’ Barr responded.

Barr described a process for putting out  the report that could occur in two phases. Next week, he plans to release to the public a report with the redactions he has discussed. He told Lowey he would not put out the unredacted version.

HAVE A SEAT: Barr fielded questions about redactions, and whether the White House had seen the report. He wouldn't answer that question directly

HAVE A SEAT: Barr fielded questions about redactions, and whether the White House had seen the report. He wouldn’t answer that question directly

Democrats accuse Barr of watering down Mueller's conclusions in his four-page letter

Democrats accuse Barr of watering down Mueller’s conclusions in his four-page letter

Barr faced tough questioning about President Trump's claim the report exonerated him, and whether the White House had been briefed on the report

‘No, the first pass at this is going to produce a report that makes these redactions based on these four categories’ described in a letter to Congress. Then, he said, he would consult with the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to see ‘whether they need more information and see if there’s a way we could accommodate that.’

Barr told lawmakers he was operating under regulations that govern the circumstances for transmitting a special counsel report to Congress.

‘I am relying on my own discretion to make as much public as I can,’ he told them.

‘I do think it’s important that the public have an opportunity to learn the results of the special counsel’s work,’ said Barr.

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) asked Barr about a line he included in his letter about the report, that it ‘does not exonerate’ the president of obstruction.

His response was terse. ‘I think that’s the language from the report,’ Barr said.

‘That’s a statement made by the special counsel. I report it as one of his bottom-line conclusions. So I’m not in a position to discuss that further until the report is all out. And then what is meant by exonerate is not really a question that I can answer – what he meant by that,’ Barr continued.

Crist asked him: ‘As you sit here today you can’t opine after having read the report yourself, why it reaches that conclusion that it does not exonerate the president?’

‘That’s right,’ said Barr.

The exchange was one of several during Tuesday’s hearing that included long periods of silence, as lawmakers expected Barr to say more.

House Democrats got their first chance at the hearing to grill Barr point-blank about why he cranked out a four-page summary of the Mueller report just 48 hours after he got it – and whether he softened its conclusions.

Rep. Jose Serrano, a House subcommittee chairman, raised the issue of the ‘elephant in the room’ at the start of a high-stakes hearing.

He said lawmakers had ‘serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report.’

Barr was asked about President Trump's claim that the report was a complete and total exoneration of him

 

Barr was asked about President Trump’s claim that the report was a complete and total exoneration of him

‘I believe the American people deserve to see the full report,’ said Serrano. Serrano noted that Congress voted unanimously to see the full Mueller report.

‘We’re not here today to be in a confrontational situation with you,’ said Serrano. ‘What cannot happen is that somebody higher than you tells you that you don’t have to answer our questions or you don’t have to deal with us at all. That’s not who we are as a country,’ he said

Full Committee chair Rep. Nita Lowey blasted Barr’s letter early in the hearing.

‘We have no idea how long [the report] actually is’ she fumed. ‘All we have is your four page summary which seems to cherry pick from the report, to draw the most favorable conclusion possible for the president.’

She said of the letter Barr turned around in just 48 hours: ‘Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it’s more suspicious than impressive.’

Barr, who faces lawmakers for the first time since taking office – also is set to get peppered with questions about the recusal process he is overseeing to determine what parts of the 400-page Mueller report he may withhold from lawmakers and from the public.

Barr has set up four categories of information he intends to vet to see whether it should be held back – prompting Democrats to demand he release the entire, un-redacted report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller assembled over two years with a budget of tens of millions.

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office, Attorney General William Barr arrives to appear before a House Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request

 

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office, Attorney General William Barr arrives to appear before a House Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request

In addition to screening for grand jury material that by law is not to be made public, Barr wrote Congress that he would vet the Mueller report for information that would impact ‘reputational interests.’

Barr isn’t coming to Congress to talk about the report, but lawmakers are expected to ask about it anyway as they anxiously wait to see it in the coming days.

The topic of the House appropriations subcommittee hearing is the Justice Department’s budget, and Barr’s prepared remarks sent to the committee on Monday focused on funding requests for immigration enforcement and to combat violent crime and opioid addiction, not mentioning Mueller’s report at all.

He appeared before the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Mueller sent his final report to Barr on March 22, ending his almost two-year investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Barr released a four-page letter summarizing the report two days later and said he would release a redacted version of the full report by mid-April, ‘if not sooner.’

The new attorney general’s budget testimony – traditionally a dry affair, and often addressing the parochial concerns of lawmakers – comes as Democrats are enraged that Barr is redacting material from the report and frustrated that his summary framed a narrative about President Trump before they were able to see the full version.

The Democrats are demanding that they see the full report and all its underlying evidence as Trump and his Republican allies are pushing back.

In excerpts from her opening statement released Monday night, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said that Barr’s summary letter ‘raises more questions than it answers.’

The chairman of the subcommittee, Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano of New York, also said there were unanswered questions, including ‘serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report.’

Barr said in the summary released last month that Mueller didn’t find a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin.

Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that the evidence was insufficient to establish obstruction.

Facing the intensifying concerns from Democrats that he may have whitewashed Mueller’s findings, Barr has twice moved to defend, or at least explain, his handling of the process since receiving the special counsel’s report.

He has said that he did not intend for his four-page summary of Mueller’s main conclusions to be an ‘exhaustive recounting’ of his work and that he could not immediately release the entire report because it included grand jury material and other sensitive information that needed to first be redacted.

Trump tweeted: 'The Democrats will never be satisfied, no matter what they get, how much they get, or how many pages they get. It will never end, but that’s the way life goes!'

Trump tweeted: ‘The Democrats will never be satisfied, no matter what they get, how much they get, or how many pages they get. It will never end, but that’s the way life goes!’

The president attacked Mueller and his 'team of 13 Trump haters and angry Democrats' for 'illegally leaking information to the press'

He will likely be asked to further explain himself at the hearing Tuesday and at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday that is also on the budget.

Barr is scheduled to testify on the report itself at separate hearings before the Senate and House judiciary committees on May 1 and May 2.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat and chairman of the House judiciary panel, confirmed the May 2 date on Twitter and said he would like Mueller to testify.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he would be satisfied hearing only from Barr and not Mueller.

While Trump took a victory lap after Mueller concluded his Russia investigation, it now appears to have been premature.

The scramble to frame the investigation’s findings in the best political light is sure to be renewed in coming days when Mueller’s report is expected to be released in redacted form.

Now that the American public will get a look at details beyond the four-page investigation summary written by William Barr, some Trump allies are concerned that the president was too quick to declare complete triumph and they’re pushing the White House to launch a pre-emptive attack.

Trump seems to be of the same mind.

‘The Democrats will never be satisfied, no matter what they get, how much they get, or how many pages they get,’ Trump tweeted Monday, two days after he blasted ‘Bob Mueller’s team of 13 Trump Haters & Angry Democrats.’

READ IN FULL: Attorney General Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing the Mueller investigation findings

 

With the goal to discredit what’s coming, Trump and his allies have unleashed a series of broadsides against Mueller’s team and the Democrats pushing for full release of the final report.

No longer is the president agreeing that Mueller acted honorably, as he did the day after the special counsel’s conclusions were released.

Instead, he’s joining his allies in trying to undermine the integrity of the investigators and the credibility of their probe.

‘You’re darn right I’m going after them again,’ Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s attorneys, told The Associated Press.

‘I never thought they did their job in a professional manner. … Only because there is overwhelming evidence that the president didn’t do anything wrong, they were forced to admit they couldn’t find anything on him. They sure tried.’

While the president unleashed his personal grievances, his team seized on any exculpatory information in Barr’s letter, hoping to swiftly define the conversation, according to six White House officials and outside advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss private deliberations.

Those officials and advisers acknowledged that the victory lap was deliberately premature.

Trump’s inner circle knows there will likely be further releases of embarrassing or politically damaging information.

MUELLER REPORT: Timeline of events in Mueller’s investigation

Here is a timeline of significant developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow.

2017

May 17 – U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and to look into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and people associated with Republican Trump’s campaign.

The appointment follows President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on May 9 and days later Trump attributed the dismissal to ‘this Russia thing.’

June 15 – Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, the Washington Post reports.

October 30 – Veteran Republican political operative and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who worked for the campaign for five pivotal months in 2016, is indicted on charges of conspiracy against the United States and money laundering as is his business partner Rick Gates, who also worked for Trump’s campaign.

– Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.

December 1 – Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month who also had a prominent campaign role, pleads guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI about his discussions in 2016 with the Russian ambassador to Washington.

2018

February 16 – Federal grand jury indicts 13 Russians and three firms, including a Russian government propaganda arm called the Internet Research Agency, accusing them of tampering to support Trump and disparage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The accused ‘had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election’ according to the court document filed by Mueller.

– An American, Richard Pinedo, pleads guilty to identity fraud for selling bank account numbers after being accused by prosecutors of helping Russians launder money, buy Facebook ads and pay for campaign rally supplies. Pinedo was not associated with the Trump campaign.

February 22 – Manafort and Gates are charged with financial crimes, including bank fraud, in Virginia.

February 23 – Gates pleads guilty to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators. He agrees to cooperate and testify against Manafort at trial.

April 3 – Alex van der Zwaan, the Dutch son-in-law of one of Russia’s richest men, is sentenced to 30 days in prison and fined $20,000 for lying to Mueller’s investigators, becoming the first person sentenced in the probe.

April 9 – FBI agents raid home, hotel room and office of Trump’s personal lawyer and self-described ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen.

April 12 – Rosenstein tells Trump that he is not a target in Mueller’s probe.

April 19 – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump supporter in the election campaign, joins Trump’s personal legal team.

June 8 – Mueller charges a Russian-Ukrainian man, Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort business partner whom prosecutors say had ties to Russian intelligence, with witness tampering.

July 13 – Federal grand jury indicts 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking Democratic Party computer networks in 2016 and staged releases of documents. Russia, which denies interfering in the election, says there is no evidence that the 12 are linked to spying or hacking.

July 16 – In Helsinki after the first summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump publicly contradicts U.S. intelligence agencies that concluded Moscow had interfered in the 2016 election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda. Trump touts Putin’s ‘extremely strong and powerful’ denial of meddling. He calls the Mueller inquiry a ‘rigged witch hunt’ on Twitter.

August 21 – A trial jury in Virginia finds Manafort guilty of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account.

– Cohen, in a case brought by U.S. prosecutors in New York, pleads guilty to tax fraud and campaign finance law violations. Cohen is subsequently interviewed by Mueller’s team.

August 31 – Samuel Patten, an American business partner of Kilimnik, pleads guilty to unregistered lobbying for pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.

September 14 – Manafort pleads guilty to two conspiracy counts and signs a cooperation agreement with Mueller’s prosecutors.

November 8 – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump’s request. He had recused himself from overseeing the Mueller inquiry because of his contacts with the Russian ambassador as a Trump campaign official. Trump appoints Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, a critic of the Mueller probe, as acting attorney general.

November 20 – Giuliani says Trump submitted written answers to questions from Mueller, as the president avoids a face-to-face interview with the special counsel.

November 27-28 – Prosecutors say Manafort breached his plea deal by lying to investigators, which Manafort denies. Trump says he has not ruled out granting Manafort a presidential pardon.

November 28 – Giuliani says Trump told investigators he was not aware ahead of time of a meeting in Trump Tower in New York between several campaign officials and Russians in June 2016.

November 29 – Cohen pleads guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to Congress about the length of discussions in 2016 on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. ‘I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1,’ says Cohen, who previously identified ‘individual 1’ as Trump.

– The president criticizes Cohen as a liar and ‘weak person.’

December 12 – Two developments highlight growing political and legal risks for Trump: Cohen sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including orchestrating hush payments to women in violation of campaign laws before the election; American Media Inc, publisher of National Enquirer tabloid, strikes deal to avoid charges over its role in one of two hush payments. Publisher admits payment was aimed at influencing the 2016 election, contradicting Trump’s statements.

2019

January 25 – Longtime Trump associate and self-proclaimed political ‘dirty trickster’ Roger Stone charged and arrested at his home in Florida. Stone is accused of lying to Congress about statements suggesting he may have had advance knowledge of plans by Wikileaks to release Democratic Party campaign emails that U.S. officials say were stolen by Russia.

February 21 – U.S. judge tightens gag order on Stone, whose Instagram account posted a photo of the judge and the image of crosshairs next to it.

February 22 – Manhattan district attorney’s office is pursuing New York state criminal charges against Manafort whether or not he receives a pardon from Trump on federal crimes, a person familiar with the matter says. Trump cannot issue pardons for state convictions.

February 24 – Senior Democratic U.S. Representative Adam Schiff says Democrats will subpoena Mueller’s final report on his investigation if it is not given to Congress by the Justice Department, and will sue the Trump administration and call on Mueller to testify to Congress if necessary.

February 27 – Cohen tells U.S. House Oversight Committee Trump is a ‘racist,’ a ‘con man’ and a ‘cheat’ who knew in advance about a release of emails by WikiLeaks in 2016 aimed at hurting rival Clinton. Trump directed negotiations for a real estate project in Moscow during the campaign even as he publicly said he had no business interests in Russia, Cohen testifies.

March 7 – Manafort is sentenced in the Virginia case to almost four years in prison. The judge also ordered Manafort to pay a fine of $50,000 and restitution of just over $24 million.

March 13 – Manafort is sentenced to about 3-1/2 more years in prison in the Washington case, bringing his total prison sentence in the two special counsel cases to 7-1/2 years.

– On the same day, the Manhattan district attorney announces a separate indictment charging Manafort with residential mortgage fraud and other New York state crimes, which unlike the federal charges cannot be erased by a presidential pardon.

March 22 – Mueller submits his confidential report on the findings of his investigation to U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

March 24 – Barr releases a summary of Mueller’s report, saying the investigation did not find evidence that Trump or his associates broke the law during the campaign. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says the summary is a complete exoneration of Trump.

Barr’s letter, for instance, hinted that there would be at least one unknown action by the president that Mueller examined as a possible act of obstruction.

A number of White House aides have privately said they are eager for Russia stories, good or bad, to fade from the headlines.

And there is fear among some presidential confidants that the rush to spike the football could backfire if bombshell new information emerged.

‘I think they did what they had to do. Regardless of what Barr reported, they needed to claim vindication,’ said Republican strategist Alex Conant, who worked on Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.

‘First impressions are important. And the first impression of the Mueller report was very good for Trump.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6903081/House-committee-set-grill-attorney-general-Bill-Barr-Mueller-report.html

 

Barr ‘reviewing the conduct’ of FBI’s 2016 probe of Trump team Russia contacts

In his first congressional testimony since his summary of the special counsel’s report, the attorney general also said a redacted version of the Mueller report would be released “within a week.”
 / Updated 
By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that he is “reviewing the conduct” of the FBI’s Russia probe during the summer of 2016, and that the Department of Justice inspector general will release a report on the FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and other matters in the Russia case in May or June.

“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr said in public testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee, his first since last month’s release of his four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Barr made the comment during an exchange with Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., ranking member on the panel, who noted that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had referred eight people to the FBI for investigation regarding “alleged misconduct during the Russia investigation including the leak of classified material and alleged conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court in order to spy on then-candidate Trump and other persons.”

 

The remarks came as the attorney general faced a barrage of tough questions from the Democratic-controlled House panel Tuesday morning regarding Mueller’s report, telling lawmakers he would release a redacted version of the original document “within a week.”

While Barr’s opening statement before the House Appropriations subcommittee, which oversees funding for the Commerce and Justice departments and science agencies, focused on the 2020 budget request for his department, lawmakers on the Democratic-controlled committee pressed him on the Mueller report.

Subcommittee chairman Rep. José Serrano, D-N.Y., in his own opening statement, said the panel “could not hold this hearing without mentioning the elephant in the room” — the Mueller report.

He referred to a New York Times report from last week that said the special counsel’s office had already created summary documents of the report that Serrano said “were ignored in your letter.” He added that, per the reporting, some investigators on the team “felt that your summary understates the level of malfeasance by the President and several of his campaign and White House advisers.”

“The American people have been left with many unanswered questions; serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report,” Serrano said. “…I think it would strike a serious blow to our system and yes, to our democracy if that report is not fully seen.”

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the full Appropriations Committee, said in her opening statement that Barr’s handling of the Mueller report had been “unacceptable,” adding that the speed of Barr’s summary of the lengthy document was “more suspicious than impressive.”

Barr defended his handling of the document, listing several areas that he believes should be redacted, including grand jury information, information that the intelligence community believes would reveal sources and methods, information in the report that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions and information that “implicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players where there’s a decision not to charge them.”

The attorney general said that Mueller is working with him and his team through the process and that they will “color code” the redacted areas in the report and provide explanatory notes describing the basis for each redaction.

 

He said that his original timetable “still stands” to release the report by mid-April: “From my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public.”

Lowey expressed incredulity that Barr was able to fully digest the Mueller report and compile a summary of it in 48 hours.

“It seems your mind must have already been made up,” she said.

Barr responded that “the thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the people of the Department of Justice prior to his submission of the report. He had been interacting, he and his people were interacting with the deputy attorney general.”

Asked whether Mueller or anyone on his team reviewed Barr’s summary of the report in advance, Barr said that Mueller’s team “did not play a role” in drafting that document and that he did give Mueller an opportunity an opportunity to review it, but he “declined.”

He would not respond to questions from Lowey about whether he had shared any additional information from the report with the White House, or whether administration officials had seen the full document.

Barr later clarified during the hearing that before his summary was sent out, “we did advise the White House counsel’s office that the letters were being sent” and while they weren’t give the document in advance, “it may have been read to them.”

Lowey pointed out that while Barr’s summary of the Mueller report said that it was inconclusive about whether Trump obstructed justice, it also said that it did not exonerate him. Lowey added that Trump, meanwhile, has stated publicly that it represented a complete and total exoneration.

Asked who is factually accurate, Barr demurred. “It’s hard to have that discussion without the contents of that report, isn’t it?” he said.

Barr said several times during the hearing that he was technically operating under a regulation established under the Clinton administration, which he said does not provide for release of the report, and so he is relying instead on his own discretion. Former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, who wrote the regulations, recently told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that the regulations don’t necessarily prescribe what Barr claims, saying there is “no excuse whatsoever” for not releasing the full report.

Republicans, meanwhile, largely looked to steer questioning away from the Russia probe. Aderholt began his series of questions about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., asked Barr about the Justice Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

Democrats have demanded that Barr release the full Mueller report, which spans nearly 400 pages. Barr, who said in a previous letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that he planned to release the report to Congress “in mid-April, if not sooner,” also said that there would be redactions.

House Democrats had given Barr until April 2 to submit the full report to Congress, a deadline that was not met. In response, the House Judiciary Committee last week passed a resolution that authorizes Nadler to issue a subpoena for the full, unredacted report. It has not yet been issued.

With Mueller Hopes Gone, So Goes Progressive Unity

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to reporters after a town hall event in Bronx, N.Y., March 29, 2019. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

To escape punishment, all of these players in the Russian collusion delusion may now begin to turn on one another.The Democratic party has lots of radical new ideas, and lots of radical presidential candidates and politicos.

But the common hatred of President Donald Trump has united otherwise quite disparate Democratic leaders such as House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.); former vice president Joe Biden; Senators Kamala Harris (D., Calif), Cory Booker (D., N.J.), and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.); and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).

These diverse progressive politicians all shared faith in Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his “dream team.” They believed over the last two years that the Mueller investigation was slowly grinding down Trump. T-shirts were sold with the slogan God Protect Robert Mueller.

The unifying progressive creed assumed that Mueller’s team would eventually find Trump unequivocally guilty of “collusion” with Russia. That buzzword was the non-criminal euphemism for felonious conspiracy to rig an election.

The hunt for collusion would end with the holy grail of Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. In 2020, there would be an almost automatic progressive takeover of government.

This anti-Trump echo chamber lessened the need for progressives to offer a comprehensive, coherent, and winning alternate agenda. Damning the sure-to-be-impeached Trump was unity enough. All progressives at least agreed on that.

But as Mueller was supposedly about to indict Trump, a divisive, hard-left agenda was almost imperceptibly floated to the public: the Green New Deal, reparations for slavery, abortion redefined as permissible infanticide, open borders, packing the Supreme Court with liberal justices, the abolition of the Electoral College and ICE, free college tuition, the elimination of student debt, Medicare for all, a wealth tax, a 70 percent top marginal income tax rate, a 16-year-old voting age, voting rights for ex-felons, and on and on.

It seemed as if today’s radical proposal would become yesterday’s sellout within 24 hours, as progressives awaited tomorrow’s even more revolutionary idea.

When he was not declaring Trump guilty of treason, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, a lifelong beneficiary of wealth and influence, did his best to blast his own former white privilege.

Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, when he was not predicating Trump’s impeachment, talked in the abstract, as if an old white guy like himself in the concrete had no business running for president.

Current front-runner Joe Biden, when he was not gloating over Trump’s supposed guilt, tried hard to trash his own white male culture as the root of many of America’s problems.

How odd that three of the anti-white-male party’s leading presidential contenders were none other than the white male trio of Biden, Bernie, and Beto.

In other words, an investigation that for two years had reconciled the irreconcilable no longer serves as a source of Democratic unity.

We are going to see hard-left Democrats and socialists force their mostly unpopular agenda on politicians and candidates from their own party. And they are now putting their identity-politics money where their mouth is by openly discouraging candidates on the basis of their race and gender.

With the end of the Mueller investigation, thousands of government documents, mostly unredacted, will be released. The result may be that the hunters of Trump soon become hunted by federal prosecutors. Sworn statements of Obama-administration officials in the Justice Department, CIA, FBI, and other bureaucracies will contradict newly released documents.

To escape punishment, all of these players in the Russian collusion delusion may now begin to turn on one another after being so united in going after Donald Trump.

There will also be more infighting over the collective embarrassment of the Russian collusion hoax.

A few shamed progressive politicians and reporters will grow quiet and acknowledge their overreach. But many will double down and weirdly insist that there really was Russian collusion and that the Steele dossier was true. Most will remain unashamed and simply move on to the next supposed Trump scandal.

Progressives in unison boarded the Mueller express to nowhere. As they now jump off the train wreck, the fighting won’t be pretty.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/mueller-report-aftermath-progressive-unity-over/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1232, April 1, 2019, Part 2, Story 1: U.S. Federal Government Sets Ten Year Spending Record as Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Deficit Will Be Over $900 Billion Heading for $1 Trillion on $1,000,000,000,000 — Government Spending Is Out of Control — Robbing From Our Children’s Future — Totally Immoral and Irresponsible — Will Congress Take on Spending? — Yes By Increasing Even More! — I Hear The Drums — Videos — Story 2: Trump Threatens To Close U.S. Mexican Border As Border Apprehension Heading To Over 1 Million In 2019 — 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over 32 Years — Enough Is Enough — Shut Border Down and Build and Complete The 2000 Mile Border Barrier Now! — Videos — Story 3: President Trump 2020 Stump Speech Preview — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists or REDS On The Run — Hello Goodbye — We Can Work It Out — Videos

Posted on April 5, 2019. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Climate Change, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, IRS, Islam, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Middle East, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, News, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: U.S. Federal Government Sets Ten Year Spending Record as Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Deficit Will Be Over $900 Billion Heading for $1 Trillion on $1,000,000,000,000– Government Spending Is Out of Control — Robbing Our Children’s Future — Totally Immoral and Irresponsible — Will Congress Take on Spending? Yes By Increasing Spending Even More — Videos

 

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News Wrap: Trump asks Cabinet to cut federal budget

Socialist vs. Libertarian: Deficit Debate

David Stockman on the Trump economy

This debt ceiling does not work: David Walker

National debt surpasses $22 trillion

Budget Deficit Hits Highest Level In 6 Years After Tax Cuts | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

US debt is growing faster than the economy: Maya MacGuineas

America’s debt will exceed size of economy within 10 years: Study

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video)

Never Gonna Give You Up

We’re no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of
You wouldn’t get this from any other guy
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
We’ve known each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
And if you ask me how I’m feeling
Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give, never gonna give
(Give you up)
(Ooh) Never gonna give, never gonna give
(Give you up)
We’ve known each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Songwriters: Mike Stock / Matt Aitken / Peter Waterman
Never Gonna Give You Up lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

a-ha – Take On Me (Official Music Video)

Lyrics
We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, okay?
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is okay
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
Songwriters: Pal Waaktaar / Morten Harket / Magne Furuholmen
Take On Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Toto – Africa (Official Music Video)

Africa
I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She’s coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, “Hurry boy, it’s waiting there for you”
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had (ooh, ooh)
The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had (ooh, ooh)
Hurry boy, she’s waiting there for you
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa (ah, gonna take the time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had (ooh, ooh)
Songwriters: David Paich / Jeff Porcaro
Africa lyrics © Spirit Music Group

 

 

Federal Spending Hits Highest Level Since Bank Bailout and Obama Stimulus

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 26, 2019 | 12:01 PM EDT

Then-President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, Nov. 10, 2008. (Getty Images/Gary Fabiano-Pool)

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government spent $1,822,712,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2019, the most it has spent in the first five months of any fiscal year since 2009, which was the fiscal year that outgoing President George W. Bush signed a $700-billion law to bailout the banking industry and incoming President Barack Obama signed a $787-billion law to stimulate an economy then in recession.

At the same time that federal spending was hitting this ten-year high, federal tax revenues in the first five months of the fiscal year were hitting a four-year low of $1,278,482,000,000.

According to the Monthly Treasury Statement for February, the Treasury spent $1,822,712,000,000 in the five months from October 2018 through February 2019, the first five months of the federal fiscal year.

The last time the Treasury spent more than that in the first five months of a fiscal year—in inflation-adjusted constant February 2019 dollars—was fiscal 2009. That year, the Treasury spent $1,936,268,470,000.

Fiscal 2009 started with President Bush signing the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law on Oct. 3, 2008; it continued with President Obama, after his January inaugural, signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Feb. 17, 2009.

At the time, the Bush bank bailout and Obama stimulus were perceived as the two of the biggest emergency spending bills in the nation’s history.

“With evidence mounting that the nation faces a sharp economic downturn, Congress yesterday gave final approval to what may be the biggest government bailout in American history, authorizing the Bush administration to spend $700 billion to try to thaw frozen credit markets and prevent a deep recession,” the Washington Post reported when Bush signed the bank bailout.

The reporting on Obama’s stimulus was similar.

“Warning that its passage into law ‘does not mark the end of our economic troubles,’ President Obama on Tuesday signed the $787 billion stimulus package, a measure he called the most sweeping financial legislation enacted in the nation’s history,” the Washington Post reported on Feb. 17, 2009.

The Congressional Budget Office said this about the impact the stimulus (H.R. 1) would have on federal deficits: “CBO estimates that enacting the conference agreement for H.R. 1 would increase federal budget deficits by $185 billion over the remaining months of fiscal year 2009, by $399 billion in 2010, by $134 billion in 2011, and by $787 billion over the 2009-2019 period.”

After federal spending hit an all-time high of $1,936,268,470,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars) in the first five months of fiscal 2009, it eventually dropped to $1,595,941,280,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2014. That was the lowest level for the first five months of any fiscal year in the last ten.

Federal spending climbed from $1,702,631,750,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars) in the first five months of fiscal 2018 to $1,822,712,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2019.

While spending has gone up this year, federal tax receipts have declined.

Total federal tax revenues through February dropped from $1,305,723,550,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars) in fiscal 2018 to $1,278,482,000,000 this year.

The last time, total federal tax revenues were lower through February than they were this year was fiscal 2015, when they were $1,276,806,230,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars).

Standing alone, individual income tax receipts also hit a four-year low of $626,592,000,000.

Corporation income taxes through February hit their lowest level in eight years–$59,194,000,000. That was down from $74,658,920,000 through February in fiscal 2018.

The last time federal corporation income taxes were lower through February than they were this year was fiscal 2011, when they were $43,607,510,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars).

In the month of February alone, corporations paid a net negative in federal income taxes, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

During the month, according to the statement, corporations paid a net negative of $669,000,000 in income taxes.

It is not unusual for corporations to pay a net negative in income taxes in the month of February, according to historical data from the Monthly Treasury Statements. In the last 20 fiscal years (2000 through 2019), corporations have paid net negative income taxes in 10 Februaries (2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019).

In fact, the net negative $669 million in income taxes paid by corporations this February was less than the net negative income taxes paid by corporations in any of the other nine years over the past 20 that corporations paid net negative income taxes.

The highest level of net negative income taxes paid by corporations over the past 20 years occurred in fiscal 2016, when corporations paid a net negative $3,685,390,000 in income taxes (in constant February 2019 dollars).

Asked about the decline in corporation income tax revenues, a senior Treasury Department official told CNSNews.com that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Trump in December 2017 was understood to be frontloaded in that corporations early on would take advantage of the new expensing rules to build their businesses.

paper by the Tax Foundation explains: “The provision allows businesses to immediately deduct the full cost of short-lived investments, similar to the treatment of other business expenses, rather than stretching the deductions over many years.”

[Below is the summary of receipts from the February 2019 Monthly Treasury Statement.]

(Dollars amounts in this story were adjusted to constant February 2019 values using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/federal-spending-hits-highest-level-bank-bailout-and-obama-stimulus

Story 2: Trump Threatens To Close U.S. Mexican Border — “I’m not playing games” — As Border Apprehension Heading To Over 1 Million In 2019 — 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over 32 Years — Enough Is Enough — Shut Border Down and Build The Border Barrier Now! — Videos

The southern border is at its breaking point

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Illegal Caravan 2500+ to USA Mexico Border Patrol apprehend 1 million illegal migrants in 2019

Border Patrol: unprecedented number migrants illegally crossing NM border

How Thousands Of Asylum Seekers Are Trapped At The U.S. Border | NBC News

The biggest border issue is US asylum laws, not a wall?

Should the U.S. Asylum System Change?

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Turbulence in Tijuana Documentary – The Immigration Crisis in Mexico

Trump on border fight: I’m not playing games

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer SHOCKED by TRUMP said HE WILL CLOSE BORDER Next Week and KEEP IT Closed

Who can apply for asylum in the US?

Why seeking asylum in America is so difficult

Trump Says Its Likely He Will Close The U.S.-Mexico Border

Trump threatens to permanently shut down border

Asylum seekers crossing back to the U.S. illegally

This Immigrant Left the U.S. To Seek Asylum In Canada And Regrets It (HBO)

Tears For Fears – Shout (Official Video)

Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
In violent times
You shouldn’t have to sell your soul
In black and white
They really really ought to know
Those one track minds
That took you for a working boy
Kiss them goodbye
You shouldn’t have to jump for joy
You shouldn’t have to shout for joy
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
They gave you life
And in return you gave them hell
As cold as ice
I hope we live to tell the tale
I hope we live to tell the tale
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
And when you’ve taken down your guard
If I could change your mind
I’d really love to break your heart
I’d really love to break your heart
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
So come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
So come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Songwriters: Ian Stanley / Roland Orzabal
Shout lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Trump cuts aid to Central American countries as migrant crisis deepens

by Reuters
Saturday, 30 March 2019 23:40 GMT

Trump has claimed that the countries had “set up” caravans of migrants in order to export them into the United States

By Julia Harte and Tim Reid

WASHINGTON/EL PASO, Texas, March 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. government cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras on Saturday after President Donald Trump blasted the Central American countries for sending migrants to the United States and threatened to shutter the U.S.-Mexico border.

A surge of asylum seekers from the three countries have sought to enter the United States across the southern border in recent days. On Friday, Trump accused the nations of having “set up” migrant caravans and sent them north.

Trump said there was a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States. Frequent crossers of the border, including workers and students, worried about the disruption to their lives the president’s threatened shutdown could cause.

At a rally on the border in El Paso, Texas, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke denounced Trump’s immigration policies as the politics of “fear and division.”

A State Department spokesman said in a statement it was carrying out Trump’s directive by ending aid programs to the three Central American nations, known as the Northern Triangle.

The department said it would “engage Congress in the process,” an apparent acknowledgement that it will need lawmakers’ approval to end funding that a Congressional aide estimated would total about $700 million.

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Trump’s order a “reckless announcement” and urged Democrats and Republicans alike to reject it.

Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday that the United States was paying the three countries “tremendous amounts of money,” but received nothing in return.

Mario Garcia, a 45-year-old bricklayer in El Salvador, said he was setting off for the United States regardless of the president’s threat to close the frontier.

“There is no work here and we want to improve (our lives), to get ahead for our families, for our children. I don’t give a damn (what Trump says), I’m determined,” Garcia said.

Garcia was one of a group of at least 90 people who left the capital San Salvador over the weekend on buses heading north, in what locals said was the tenth so-called caravan to depart for the United States since October.

The government of El Salvador has said it has tried to stem the flow of migrants.

The Honduran Foreign Ministry on Saturday called the U.S. policies “contradictory” but stressed that its relationship with the United States was “solid, close and positive.”

Trump, who launched his presidential campaign in 2015 with a promise to build a border wall and crack down on illegal immigration, has repeatedly threatened to close the frontier during his two years in office but has not followed through.

This time, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other U.S. officials say border patrol officers have been overwhelmed by a sharp increase asylum seekers, many of them children and families who arrive in groups, fleeing violence and economic hardship in the Northern Triangle.

March is on track for 100,000 border apprehensions, Homeland Security officials said, which would be the highest monthly number in more than a decade. Most of those people can remain in the United States while their asylum claims are processed, which can take years because of ballooning immigration court backlogs.

Nielsen warned Congress on Thursday that the government faces a “system-wide meltdown” as it tries to care for more than 1,200 unaccompanied children and 6,600 migrant families in its custody.

Trump has so far been unable to convince Congress to tighten asylum laws or fund his border wall. He has declared a national emergency to justify redirecting money earmarked for the military to pay for the wall.

Mexico has played down the possibility of a border shutdown. Its foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said the country is a good neighbor and does not act on the basis of threats.

It was not clear how shutting down ports of entry would deter asylum seekers because they are legally able to request help as soon as they set foot on U.S. soil.

But a border shutdown would disrupt tourism and U.S.-Mexico trade that totaled $612 billion last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A shutdown could lead to factory closures on both sides of the border, industry officials say, because the automobiles and medical sectors especially have woven international supply chains into their business models. (Reporting by Julia Harte and Richard Cowan in Washington, and Tim Reid in El Paso; Additional reporting by Jose Luis Gonzalez in Ciudad Juarez, Julia Love in Mexico City, Omar Younis in San Diego, Nelson Renteria in San Salvador and Orfa Mejia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

http://news.trust.org/item/20190330195340-c3vlh

Asylum in the United States

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Annual Refugee Admissions to the United States by Fiscal Year, 1975 to mid-2018

Annual Asylum Grants in the United States by Fiscal Year, 1990-2016

The United States recognizes the right of asylum for individuals as specified by international and federal law.[1] A specified number of legally defined refugees who either apply for asylum from inside the U.S. or apply for refugee status from outside the U.S., are admitted annually. Refugees compose about one-tenth of the total annual immigration to the United States, though some large refugee populations are very prominent. Since World War II, more refugees have found homes in the U.S. than any other nation and more than two million refugees have arrived in the U.S. since 1980. In the years 2005 through 2007, the number of asylum seekers accepted into the U.S. was about 40,000 per year. This compared with about 30,000 per year in the UK and 25,000 in Canada. The U.S. accounted for about 10% of all asylum-seeker acceptances in the OECD countries in 1998-2007.[2] The United States is by far the most populous OECD country and receives fewer than the average number of refugees per capita: In 2010-14 (before the massive migrant surge in Europe in 2015) it ranked 28 of 43 industrialized countries reviewed by UNHCR.[3]

Asylum has two basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution in their home country.[4] Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: racereligionnationalitypolitical opinion, or particular social group.[5]

Character of refugee inflows and resettlement[edit]

Refugee resettlement to the United States by region, 1990–2005 (Source: Migration Policy Institute)

During the Cold War, and up until the mid-1990s, the majority of refugees resettled in the U.S. were people from the former-Soviet Union and Southeast Asia.[citation needed] The most conspicuous of the latter were the refugees from Vietnam following the Vietnam War, sometimes known as “boat people“. Following the end of the Cold War, the largest resettled European group were refugees from the Balkans, primarily Serbs, from Bosnia and Croatia.[citation needed] In the 1990s/2000s, the proportion of Africans rose in the annual resettled population, as many fled various ongoing conflicts.[citation needed]

Large metropolitan areas have been the destination of most resettlements, with 72% of all resettlements between 1983 and 2004 going to 30 locations.[citation needed] The historical gateways for resettled refugees have been California (specifically Los AngelesOrange CountySan Jose, and Sacramento), the Mid-Atlantic region (New York in particular), the Midwest (specifically ChicagoSt. LouisMinneapolis-St. Paul), and Northeast (Providence, Rhode Island).[citation needed] In the last decades of the twentieth century, Washington, D.C.SeattleWashingtonPortlandOregon; and AtlantaGeorgia provided new gateways for resettled refugees. Particular cities are also identified with some national groups: metropolitan Los Angeles received almost half of the resettled refugees from Iran, 20% of Iraqi refugees went to Detroit, and nearly one-third of refugees from the former Soviet Union were resettled in New York.[citation needed]

Between 2004 and 2007, nearly 4,000 Venezuelans claimed political asylum in the United States and almost 50% of them were granted. In contrast, in 1996, only 328 Venezuelans claimed asylum, and a mere 20% of them were granted.[6] According to USA Today, the number of asylums being granted to Venezuelan claimants has risen from 393 in 2009 to 969 in 2012.[7] Other references agree with the high number of political asylum claimants from Venezuela, confirming that between 2000 and 2010, the United States has granted them with 4,500 political asylums.[8]

Criticism

Despite this, concerns have been raised with the U.S. asylum and refugee determination processes. A recent empirical analysis by three legal scholars described the U.S. asylum process as a game of refugee roulette; that is to say that the outcome of asylum determinations depends in large part on the personality of the particular adjudicator to whom an application is randomly assigned, rather than on the merits of the case. The very low numbers of Iraqi refugees accepted between 2003 and 2007 exemplifies concerns about the United States’ refugee processes. The Foreign Policy Association reported that “Perhaps the most perplexing component of the Iraq refugee crisis… has been the inability for the U.S. to absorb more Iraqis following the 2003 invasion of the country. Up until 2008, the U.S. has granted less than 800 Iraqis refugee status, just 133 in 2007. By contrast, the U.S. granted asylum to more than 100,000 Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War.” [9]

Relevant law and procedures

“The Immigration and Nationality Act (‘INA’) authorizes the Attorney General to grant asylum if an alien is unable or unwilling to return to her country of origin because she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of ‘race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.'”[1]

The United States is obliged to recognize valid claims for asylum under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. As defined by these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of nationality (or place of habitual residence if stateless) who, owing to a fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the state. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a particular social group. The signatories to these agreements are further obliged not to return or “refoul” refugees to the place where they would face persecution.

This commitment was codified and expanded with the passing of the Refugee Act of 1980 by the United States Congress. Besides reiterating the definitions of the 1951 Convention and its Protocol, the Refugee Act provided for the establishment of an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help refugees begin their lives in the U.S. The structure and procedures evolved and by 2004, federal handling of refugee affairs was led by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State, working with the ORR at HHS. Asylum claims are mainly the responsibility of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Refugee quotas

Each year, the President of the United States sends a proposal to the Congress for the maximum number of refugees to be admitted into the country for the upcoming fiscal year, as specified under section 207(e) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This number, known as the “refugee ceiling”, is the target of annual lobbying by both refugee advocates seeking to raise it and anti-immigration groups seeking to lower it. However, once proposed, the ceiling is normally accepted without substantial Congressional debate. The September 11, 2001 attacks resulted in a substantial disruption to the processing of resettlement claims with actual admissions falling to about 26,000 in fiscal year 2002. Claims were doublechecked for any suspicious activity and procedures were put in place to detect any possible terrorist infiltration, though some advocates noted that, given the ease with which foreigners can otherwise legally enter the U.S., entry as a refugee is comparatively unlikely. The actual number of admitted refugees rose in subsequent years with refugee ceiling for 2006 at 70,000. Critics note these levels are still among the lowest in 30 years.

Recent actual, projected and proposed refugee admissions
Year Africa % East Asia % Europe % Latin America
and Caribbean
% Near East and
South Asia
% Unallocated
reserve
Total
FY 2012 actual arrivals[10] 10,608 18.21 14,366 24.67 1,129 1.94 2,078 3.57 30,057 51.61 58,238
FY 2013 ceiling[10] 12,000 17,000 2,000 5,000 31,000 3,000 70,000
FY 2013 actual arrivals[11] 15,980 22.85 16,537 23.65 580 0.83 4,439 6.35 32,389 46.32 69,925
FY 2014 ceiling[11] 15,000 14,000 1,000 5,000 33,000 2,000 70,000
FY 2014 actual arrivals[12] 17,476 24.97 14,784 21.12 959 1.37 4,318 6.17 32,450 46.36 69,987
FY 2015 ceiling[12] 17,000 13,000 1,000 4,000 33,000 2,000 70,000
FY 2015 actual arrivals[13] 22,472 32.13 18,469 26.41 2,363 3.38 2,050 2.93 24,579 35.14 69,933
FY 2016 ceiling[13] 25,000 13,000 4,000 3,000 34,000 6,000 85,000
FY 2016 actual arrivals[14] 31,625 37.21 12,518 14.73 3,957 4.65 1,340 1.57 35,555 41.83 84,995
FY 2017 ceiling[15] 35,000 12,000 4,000 5,000 40,000 14,000 110,000
FY 2017 actual arrivals[16] 20,232 37.66 5,173 9.63 5,205 9.69 1,688 3.14 21,418 39.87 53,716
FY 2018 ceiling[17] 19,000 5,000 2,000 1,500 17,500 45,000
FY 2018 actual arrivals[18] 10,459 46.50 3,668 16.31 3,612 16.06 955 4.25 3,797 16.88 22,491
FY 2019 ceiling[19] 11,000 4,000 3,000 3,000 9,000 30,000
*FY 2019 actual arrivals[20] 3,473 59.28 893 15.24 1,095 18.69 135 2.30 263 4.49 5,859
  • FY 2019, actual arrivals up to January 11, 2019.

A total of 73,293 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2010. The leading countries of nationality for refugee admissions were Iraq (24.6%), Burma (22.8%), Bhutan (16.9%), Somalia (6.7%), Cuba (6.6%), Iran (4.8%), DR Congo (4.3%), Eritrea (3.5%), Vietnam (1.2%) and Ethiopia (0.9%).

Application for resettlement by refugees abroad

The majority of applications for resettlement to the United States are made to U.S. embassies in foreign countries and are reviewed by employees of the State Department. In these cases, refugee status has normally already been reviewed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and recognized by the host country. For these refugees, the U.S. has stated its preferred order of solutions are: (1) repatriation of refugees to their country of origin, (2) integration of the refugees into their country of asylum and, last, (3) resettlement to a third country, such as the U.S., when the first two options are not viable.[citation needed]

The United States prioritizes valid applications for resettlement into three levels.[citation needed]

Priority One

  • persons facing compelling security concerns in countries of first asylum; persons in need of legal protection because of the danger of refoulement; those in danger due to threats of armed attack in an area where they are located; or persons who have experienced recent persecution because of their political, religious, or human rights activities (prisoners of conscience); women-at-risk; victims of torture or violence, physically or mentally disabled persons; persons in urgent need of medical treatment not available in the first asylum country; and persons for whom other durable solutions are not feasible and whose status in the place of asylum does not present a satisfactory long-term solution. – UNHCR Resettlement Handbook[citation needed]

Priority Two

is composed of groups designated by the U.S. government as being of special concern. These are often identified by an act proposed by a Congressional representative. Priority Two groups proposed for 2008 included:[21]

  • “Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious activists in the former Soviet Union, with close family in the United States” (This is the amendment which was proposed by Senator Frank LautenbergDN.J. and originally enacted November 21, 1989.[22])
  • from Cuba: “human rights activists, members of persecuted religious minorities, former political prisoners, forced-labor conscripts (1965-68), persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs or activities, and persons who have experienced or fear harm because of their relationship – family or social – to someone who falls under one of the preceding categories”[citation needed]
  • from Vietnam: “the remaining active cases eligible under the former Orderly Departure Program (ODP) and Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) programs”; individuals who, through no fault of their own, were unable to access the ODP program before its cutoff date; and Amerasian citizens, who are counted as refugee admissions[citation needed]
  • individuals who have fled Burma and who are registered in nine refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border and who are identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement[citation needed]
  • UNHCR-identified Burundian refugees who originally fled Burundi in 1972 and who have no possibility either to settle permanently in Tanzania or return to Burundi[citation needed]
  • Bhutanese refugees in Nepal registered by UNHCR in the recent census and identified as in need of resettlement
  • Iranian members of certain religious minorities[citation needed]
  • Sudanese Darfurians living in a refugee camp in Anbar Governorate in Iraq would be eligible for processing if a suitable location can be identified[citation needed]

Priority Three

is reserved for cases of family reunification, in which a refugee abroad is brought to the United States to be reunited with a close family member who also has refugee status. A list of nationalities eligible for Priority Three consideration is developed annually. The proposed countries for FY2008 were Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, ColombiaCongo (Brazzaville), Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), EritreaEthiopiaHaiti, Iran, Iraq, RwandaSomaliaSudan and Uzbekistan.[21]

Individual application

The minority of applications that are made by individuals who have already entered the U.S. are judged on whether they meet the U.S. definition of “refugee” and on various other statutory criteria (including a number of bars that would prevent an otherwise-eligible refugee from receiving protection). There are two ways to apply for asylum while in the United States:

  • If an asylum seeker has been placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is a part of the Department of Justice, the individual may apply for asylum with the Immigration Judge.
  • If an asylum seeker is inside the United States and has not been placed in removal proceedings, he or she may file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), regardless of his or her legal status in the United States. However, if the asylum seeker is not in valid immigration status and USCIS does not grant the asylum application, USCIS may place the applicant in removal proceedings, in that case a judge will consider the application anew. The immigration judge may also consider the applicant for relief that the asylum office has no jurisdiction to grant, such as withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Since the effective date of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act passed in 1996, an applicant must apply for asylum within one year[23] of entry or be barred from doing so unless the applicant can establish changed circumstances that are material to his or her eligibility for asylum or exceptional circumstances related to the delay.

Immigrants who were picked up after entering the country between entry points can be released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on payment of a bond, and an immigration judge may lower or waive the bond. In contrast, refugees who asked for asylum at an official point of entry before entering the U.S. cannot be released on bond. Instead, ICE officials have full discretion to decide whether they can be released.[24]

If an applicant is eligible for asylum, they have a procedural right to have the Attorney General make a discretionary determination as to whether the applicant should be admitted into the United States as an asylee. An applicant is also entitled to mandatory “withholding of removal” (or restriction on removal) if the applicant can prove that her life or freedom would be threatened upon return to her country of origin. The dispute in asylum cases litigated before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and, subsequently, the federal courts centers on whether the immigration courts properly rejected the applicant’s claim that she is eligible for asylum or other relief.

The applicant has the burden of proving that he (or she) is eligible for asylum. To satisfy this burden, an applicant must show that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country on account of either race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.[25] The applicant can demonstrate her well-founded fear by demonstrating that she has a subjective fear (or apprehension) of future persecution in her home country that is objectively reasonable. An applicant’s claim for asylum is stronger where she can show past persecution, in which case she will receive a presumption that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country. The government can rebut this presumption by demonstrating either that the applicant can relocate to another area within her home country in order to avoid persecution, or that conditions in the applicant’s home country have changed such that the applicant’s fear of persecution there is no longer objectively reasonable. Technically, an asylum applicant who has suffered past persecution meets the statutory criteria to receive a grant of asylum even if the applicant does not fear future persecution. In practice, adjudicators will typically deny asylum status in the exercise of discretion in such cases, except where the past persecution was so severe as to warrant a humanitarian grant of asylum, or where the applicant would face other serious harm if returned to his or her country of origin. In addition, applicants who, according to the US Government, participated in the persecution of others are not eligible for asylum.[26]

A person may face persecution in his or her home country because of race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, or social group, and yet not be eligible for asylum because of certain bars defined by law. The most frequent bar is the one-year filing deadline. If an application is not submitted within one year following the applicant’s arrival in the United States, the applicant is barred from obtaining asylum unless certain exceptions apply. However, the applicant can be eligible for other forms of relief such as Withholding of Removal, which is a less favorable type of relief than asylum because it does not lead to a Green Card or citizenship. The deadline for submitting the application is not the only restriction that bars one from obtaining asylum. If an applicant persecuted others, committed a serious crime, or represents a risk to U.S. security, he or she will be barred from receiving asylum as well.[27]

  • After 2001, asylum officers and immigration judges became less likely to grant asylum to applicants, presumably because of the attacks on 11 September.[28]

In 1986 an Immigration Judge agreed not to send Fidel Armando-Alfanso back to Cuba, based on his membership in a particular social group (gay people) who were persecuted and feared further persecution by the government of Cuba.[29] The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the decision in 1990, and in 1994, then-Attorney General Janet Reno ordered this decision to be a legal precedent binding on Immigration Judges and the Asylum Office, and established sexual orientation as a grounds for asylum.[29][30] However, in 2002 the Board of Immigration Appeals “suggested in an ambiguous and internally inconsistent decision that the ‘protected characteristic’ and ‘social visibility’ tests may represent dual requirements in all social group cases.”[31][32] The requirement for social visibility means that the government of a country from which the person seeking asylum is fleeing must recognize their social group, and that LGBT people who hide their sexual orientation, for example out of fear of persecution, may not be eligible for asylum under this mandate.[32]

In 1996 Fauziya Kasinga, a 19-year-old woman from the Tchamba-Kunsuntu people of Togo, became the first person to be granted asylum in the United States to escape female genital mutilation. In August 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the United States’s highest immigration court, found for the first time that women who are victims of severe domestic violence in their home countries can be eligible for asylum in the United States.[33] However, that ruling was in the case of a woman from Guatemala and was anticipated to only apply to women from there.[33] On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed that precedent and announced that victims of domestic abuse or gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum.[34]

INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca precedent

The term “well-founded fear” has no precise definition in asylum law. In INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca480 U.S. 421 (1987), the Supreme Court avoided attaching a consistent definition to the term, preferring instead to allow the meaning to evolve through case-by-case determinations. However, in Cardoza-Fonseca, the Court did establish that a “well-founded” fear is something less than a “clear probability” that the applicant will suffer persecution. Three years earlier, in INS v. Stevic467 U.S. 407 (1984), the Court held that the clear probability standard applies in proceedings seeking withholding of deportation (now officially referred to as ‘withholding of removal’ or ‘restriction on removal’), because in such cases the Attorney General must allow the applicant to remain in the United States. With respect to asylum, because Congress employed different language in the asylum statute and incorporated the refugee definition from the international Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Court in Cardoza-Fonseca reasoned that the standard for showing a well-founded fear of persecution must necessarily be lower.

An applicant initially presents his claim to an asylum officer, who may either grant asylum or refer the application to an Immigration Judge. If the asylum officer refers the application and the applicant is not legally authorized to remain in the United States, the applicant is placed in removal proceedings. After a hearing, an immigration judge determines whether the applicant is eligible for asylum. The immigration judge’s decision is subject to review on two, and possibly three, levels. First, the immigration judge’s decision can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In 2002, in order to eliminate the backlog of appeals from immigration judges, the Attorney General streamlined review procedures at the Board of Immigration Appeals. One member of the Board can affirm a decision of an immigration judge without oral argument; traditional review by three-judge panels is restricted to limited categories for which “searching appellate review” is appropriate. If the BIA affirms the decision of the immigration court, then the next level of review is a petition for review in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the immigration judge sits. The court of appeals reviews the case to determine if “substantial evidence” supports the immigration judge’s (or the BIA’s) decision. As the Supreme Court held in INS v. Ventura537 U.S.12 (2002), if the federal appeals court determines that substantial evidence does not support the immigration judge’s decision, it must remand the case to the BIA for further proceedings instead of deciding the unresolved legal issue in the first instance. Finally, an applicant aggrieved by a decision of the federal appeals court can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case by a discretionary writ of certiorari. But the Supreme Court has no duty to review an immigration case, and so many applicants for asylum forego this final step.

Notwithstanding his statutory eligibility, an applicant for asylum will be deemed ineligible if:

  1. the applicant participated in persecuting any other person on account of that other person’s race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  2. the applicant constitutes a danger to the community because he has been convicted in the United States of a particularly serious crime;
  3. the applicant has committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States prior to arrival;
  4. the applicant constitutes a danger to the security of the United States;
  5. the applicant is inadmissible on terrorism-related grounds;
  6. the applicant has been firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States; or
  7. the applicant has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined more broadly in the immigration context.

Conversely, even if an applicant is eligible for asylum, the Attorney General may decline to extend that protection to the applicant. (The Attorney General does not have this discretion if the applicant has also been granted withholding of deportation.) Frequently the Attorney General will decline to extend an applicant the protection of asylum if he has abused or circumvented the legal procedures for entering the United States and making an asylum claim.

Work permit and permanent residence status

An in-country applicant for asylum is eligible for a work permit (employment authorization) only if his or her application for asylum has been pending for more than 150 days without decision by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review. If an asylum seeker is recognized as a refugee, he or she may apply for lawful permanent residence status (a green card) one year after being granted asylum. Asylum seekers generally do not receive economic support. This, combined with a period where the asylum seeker is ineligible for a work permit is unique among developed countries and has been condemned from some organisations, including Human Rights Watch.[35]

Up until 2004, recipients of asylee status faced a wait of approximately fourteen years to receive permanent resident status after receiving their initial status, because of an annual cap of 10,000 green cards for this class of individuals. However, in May 2005, under the terms of a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit, Ngwanyia v. Gonzales, brought on behalf of asylees against CIS, the government agreed to make available an additional 31,000 green cards for asylees during the period ending on September 30, 2007. This is in addition to the 10,000 green cards allocated for each year until then and was meant to speed up the green card waiting time considerably for asylees. However, the issue was rendered somewhat moot by the enactment of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Division B of United States Public Law 109-13 (H.R. 1268)), which eliminated the cap on annual asylee green cards. Currently, an asylee who has continuously resided in the US for more than one year in that status has an immediately available visa number.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

An Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) is any person who has not attained 18 years of age who entered the United States unaccompanied by and not destined to: (a) a parent, (b) a close non-parental adult relative who is willing and able to care for said minor, or (c) an adult with a clear and court-verifiable claim to custody of the minor; and who has no parent(s) in the United States.[36] These minors are eligible for entry into the URM program. Trafficking victims who have been certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and/or the United States Department of State are also eligible for benefits and services under this program to the same extent as refugees.

The URM program is coordinated by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a branch of the United States Administration for Children and Families. The mission of the URM program is to help people in need “develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency.” To do this, URM provides refugee minors with the same social services available to U.S.-born children, including, but not limited to, housing, food, clothing, medical care, educational support, counseling, and support for social integration.[37]

History of the URM Program

URM was established in 1980 as a result of the legislative branch’s enactment of the Refugee Act that same year.[38] Initially, it was developed to “address the needs of thousands of children in Southeast Asia” who were displaced due to civil unrest and economic problems resulting from the aftermath of the Vietnam War, which had ended only five years earlier.[37] Coordinating with the United Nations and “utilizing an executive order to raise immigration quotas, President Carter doubled the number of Southeast Asian refugees allowed into the United States each month.”[39] The URM was established, in part, to deal with the influx of refugee children.

URM was established in 1980, but the emergence of refugee minors as an issue in the United States “dates back to at least WWII.”[38] Since that time, oppressive regimes and U.S. military involvement have consistently “contributed to both the creation of a notable supply of unaccompanied refugee children eligible to relocate to the United States, as well as a growth in public pressure on the federal government to provide assistance to these children.”[38]

Since 1980, the demographic makeup of children within URM has shifted from being largely Southeast Asian to being much more diverse. Between 1999 and 2005, children from 36 different countries were inducted into the program.[38] Over half of the children who entered the program within this same time period came from Sudan, and less than 10% came from Southeast Asia.[38]

Perhaps the most commonly known group to enter the United States through the URM program was known as the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. Their story was made into a documentary by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk. The film, Lost Boys of Sudan, follows two Sudanese refugees on their journey from Africa to America. It won an Independent Spirit Award and earned two national Emmy nominations.[40]

Functionality

In terms of functionality, the URM program is considered a state-administered program. The U.S. federal government provides funds to certain states that administer the URM program, typically through a state refugee coordinator’s office. The state refugee coordinator provides financial and programmatic oversight to the URM programs in his or her state. The state refugee coordinator ensures that unaccompanied minors in URM programs receive the same benefits and services as other children in out-of-home care in the state. The state refugee coordinator also oversees the needs of unaccompanied minors with many other stakeholders.[41]

ORR contracts with two faith-based agencies to manage the URM program in the United States; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)[42] and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). These agencies identify eligible children in need of URM services; determine appropriate placements for children among their national networks of affiliated agencies; and conduct training, research and technical assistance on URM services. They also provide the social services such as: indirect financial support for housing, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities; intensive case management by social workers; independent living skills training; educational supports; English language training; career/college counseling and training; mental health services; assistance adjusting immigration status; cultural activities; recreational opportunities; support for social integration; and cultural and religious preservation.[43]

The URM services provided through these contracts are not available in all areas of the United States. The 14 states that participate in the URM program include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.[43]

Adoption of URM Children

Although they are in the United States without the protection of their family, URM-designated children are not generally eligible for adoption. This is due in part to the Hague Convention on the Protection and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, otherwise known as the Hague Convention. Created in 1993, the Hague Convention established international standards for inter-country adoption.[44] In order to protect against the abduction, sale or trafficking of children, these standards protect the rights of the biological parents of all children. Children in the URM program have become separated from their biological parents and the ability to find and gain parental release of URM children is often extremely difficult. Most children, therefore, are not adopted. They are served primarily through the foster care system of the participating states. Most will be in the custody of the state (typically living with a foster family) until they become adults. Reunification with the child’s family is encouraged whenever possible.

U.S. government support after arrival

As soon as people seeking asylum in the United States are accepted as refugees they are eligible for public assistance just like any other person, including cash welfare, food assistance, and health coverage. Many refugees depend on public benefits, but over time may become self-sufficient.[45]

Availability of public assistance programs can vary depending on which states within the United States refugees are allocated to resettle in. For example, health policies differ from state to state, and as of 2017, only 33 states expanded Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.[46] In 2016, The American Journal of Public Health reported that only 60% of refugees are assigned to resettlement locations with expanding Medicaid programs, meaning that more than 1 in 3 refugees may have limited healthcare access.[47]

In 2015, the world saw the greatest displacement of people since World War II with 65.3 million people having to flee their homes.[48] In fiscal year 2016, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration under the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (MRA) requested that $442.7 million be allocated to refugee admission programs that relocate refugees into communities across the country.[49] President Obama made a “Call to Action” for the private sector to make a commitment to help refugees by providing opportunities for jobs and accommodating refugee accessibility needs.[50]

Child separation

The recent U.S. Government policy known as “Zero-tolerance” was implemented in April 2018.[51] In response, a number of scientific organizations released statements on the negative impact of child separation, a form of childhood trauma, on child development, including the American Psychiatric Association,[52] the American Psychological Association,[53] the American Academy of Pediatrics,[54] the American Medical Association,[55] and the Society for Research in Child Development.[56]

Efforts are underway to minimize the impact of child separation. For instance, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network released a resource guide and held a webinar related to traumatic separation and refugee and immigrant trauma.

LGBTQ asylum seekers

Historically, homosexuality was considered a deviant behavior in the US, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 barred homosexual individuals from entering the United States due to concerns about their psychological health.[57] One of the first successful LGBTasylum pleas to be granted refugee status in the United States due to sexual orientation was a Cuban national whose case was first presented in 1989.[58] The case was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the barring of LGBT and queer individuals into the United States was repealed in 1990. The case, known as Matter of Acosta (1985), set the standard of what qualified as a “particular social group.” This new definition of “social group” expanded to explicitly include homosexuality and the LGBT population. It considers homosexuality and gender identity a “common characteristic of the group either cannot change or should not be required to change because it is fundamental to their individual identities or consciences.”[59] This allows political asylum to some LGBT individuals who face potential criminal penalties due to homosexuality and sodomy being illegal in the home country who are unable to seek protection from the state.[60][61] The definition was intended to be open-ended in order to fit with the changing understanding of sexuality. According to Fatma Marouf, the definition established in Acosta was influential internationally, appealing to “the fundamental norms of human rights.”[62]

Experts disagree on the role of sexuality in the asylum process. Stefan Volger argues that the definition of social group tends to be relatively flexible, and describes sexuality akin to religion—one might change religions but characteristics of religion are protected traits that can’t be forced.[59][62] However, Susan Berger argues that while homosexuality and other sexual minorities might be protected under the law, the burden of proving that they are an LGBT member demonstrates a greater immutable view of the expected LGBT performance.[63] The importance of visibility is stressed throughout the asylum process, as sexuality is an internal characteristic. It is not visibly represented in the outside appearance.[62]

When considering how sexuality is viewed, research utilize asylum claim decisions and individual cases to understand what is considered characteristic of being a member of the LGBT community. In migration studies, there was an implicit assumption that immigrants are heterosexual and LGBT people are citizens.[64]

One theory that took route within the queer migrations studies was Jasbir Puar‘s idea of homonationalism. According to Paur, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the movement against terrorists also resulted in a reinforcement of the binary “us vs. them” against some members of the LGBT community. The social landscape was termed “homonormative nationalism” or homonationalism.[65]

Obstacles asylum seekers face

Gender

Female asylum seekers may encounter issues when seeking asylum in the United States due to what some see as a structural preference for male narrative forms in the requirements for acceptance.[63] Researchers, such as Amy Shuman and Carol Bohmer, argue that the asylum process produces gendered cultural silences, particular in hearings where the majority of narrative construction takes place.[66] Cultural silences refers to things that women refrain from sharing, due to shame, humiliation, and other deterrents.[66] These deterrents can make achieving asylum more difficult as it can keep relevant information from being shared with the asylum judge.[66]

Susan Berger argues that the relationship between gender and sexuality leads to arbitrary case decisions, as there are no clear guidelines for when the private problems becomes an international problem. Berger uses case specific examples of asylum applications where gender and sexuality both act as an immutable characteristic. She argues that because male persecutors of lesbian and heterosexual female applicants tend to be family members, their harm occurs in the private domain and is therefore excluded from asylum consideration. Male applicants, on the other hand, are more likely to experience targeted, public persecution that relates better to the traditional idea of a homosexual asylum seeker. Male applicants are encouraged to perform gay stereotypes to strengthen their asylum application on the basis of sexual orientation, while lesbian women face the same difficulties as their heterosexual partners to perform the homosexual narrative.[63] Joe Rollins found that gay male applicants were more likely to be granted refugee status if they included rape in their narratives, while gay Asian immigrants were less likely to be granted refugee status over all, even with the inclusion of rape.[67] This, he claimed, was due to Asian men being subconsciously feminized.[67]

These experiences are articulated during the hearing process where the responsibility to prove membership is on the applicant.[63][66][59] During the hearing process, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate persecution for gender or sexuality and place the source as their own culture. Shuman and Bohmer argue that in sexual minorities, it is not enough to demonstrate only violence, asylum applicants have to align themselves against a restrictive culture. The narratives are forced to fit into categories shaped by western culture or be found to be fraudulent.[66]

Mexican Transgender Asylum Seeker

LGBT individuals have a higher risk for mental health problems when compared to cis-gender counterparts and many transgender individuals face socioeconomic difficulties in addition to being an asylum seeker. In a study conducted by Mary Gowin, E. Laurette Taylor, Jamie Dunnington, Ghadah Alshuwaiyer, and Marshall K. Cheney of Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers, they found 5 major stressors among the participants including assault (verbal, physical and sexual), “unstable environments, fear for safety and security, hiding undocumented status, and economic insecurity.”[68] They also found that all of the asylum seekers who participated reported at least one health issue that could be attributed to the stressors. They accessed little or no use of health or social services, attributed to barriers to access, such as fear of the government, language barriers and transportation.[68] They are also more likely to report lower levels of education due to few opportunities after entering the United States. Many of the asylum seeker participants entered the United States as undocumented immigrants. Obstacles to legal services included fear and knowledge that there were legal resources to gaining asylum.[68]

Human Rights Activism

Human Rights and LGBT advocates have worked to create many improvements to the LGBT Asylum Seekers coming into the United States.[69] A 2015 report issued by the LGBT Freedom and Asylum network identifies best practices for supporting LGBT asylum seekers in the US.[70] The US State Department has also issued a factsheet on protecting LGBT refugees.[71]

Film

The 2000 documentary film Well-Founded Fear, from filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini marked the first time that a film crew was privy to the private proceedings at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), where individual asylum officers ponder the often life-or-death fate of the majority of immigrants seeking asylum. The film analyzes the US asylum application process by following several asylum applicants and asylum officers.

See also

Sources

  • David Weissbrodt and Laura Danielson, Immigration Law and Procedure, 5th ed., West Group Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-314-15416-7

Notes and references

  1. Jump up to:a b Matter of A-B-27 I&N Dec. 316, 317-18 (A.G. 2018); 8 U.S.C. § 1158 (“Asylum”).
  2. ^ Spreadsheet: Inflows of asylum seekers into selected OECD countries. Associated migration report: OECD International Migration Outlook 2009.
  3. ^ UNHCR (2015). Asylum Trends 2014: Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, p. 20. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  4. ^ Scott Rempell, Defining Persecution, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1941006
  5. ^ “8 USC 1101(a)(42)(A)”Legal Information Institute. Cornell University. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DW-WWW-2009-RIMStudy.pdf
  7. ^ “Venezuelan middle class seeks refuge in Miami”.
  8. ^ “Thousands of Venezuelans Have Gotten Political Asylum in the U.S.” 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ “Global Views: Iraq’s refugees, by R. Nolan, Foreign Policy Association Features, Resource Library, June 12, 2007.
  10. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2014
  11. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2015
  12. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2016
  13. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017
  14. ^ US Department of State “Arrivals by Region 2016_09_30
  15. ^ Presidential Determination – Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2017
  16. ^ Admissions Reports | Arrivals by region | 2017
  17. ^ Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2018
  18. ^ Admissions Reports | Arrivals by region | 2018
  19. ^ Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2019
  20. ^ Admissions & Arrivals | Arrivals by Region
  21. Jump up to:a b Report to the Congress Submitted on Behalf of The President of The United States to the Committees on the Judiciary United States Senate and United States House of Representatives in Fulfillment of the Requirements of Section 207(E) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Released by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the United States Department of State, p. 8
  22. ^ Perry, Jeffrey (June 6, 2013). “The Lautenberg Amendment”CounterPunch Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  23. ^ Schaefer, Kimberley. “Applying for Asylum in the United States”kschaeferlaw.com/. Kimberley Schaefer. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  24. ^ Satija, Neena (2018-07-05). “The Trump administration is not keeping its promises to asylum seekers who come to ports of entry”. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  25. ^ Chang, Ailsa (September 28, 2018). “Thousands Could Be Deported As Government Targets Asylum Mills’ Clients”NPR(All Things Considered). NPR.
  26. ^ Schaefer, Kimberley. “Asylum in the United States”kschaeferlaw.com/immigration-overview/asylum. Kimberley Schaefer. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  27. ^ Kutidze, Givi. “Green Card Through Asylum”us-counsel.com/green-cards/green-card-asylum. Givi Kutidze. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  28. ^ Farris, Christopher J. and Rottman, Andy J. “The Path to Asylum in the US and the Determinants for Who Gets In and Why.” International Migration Review, Volume 43, Issue 1, Pages 3-34. First Published March 2, 2009.
  29. Jump up to:a b “Asylum Based on Sexual Orientation and Fear of Persecution”. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  30. ^ “How Will Ugandan Gay Refugees Be Received By U.S.?”NPR.org. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  31. ^ Marouf, Fatma E. (2008) “The Emerging Importance of “Social Visibility” in Defining a Particular Social Group and Its Potential Impact on Asylum Claims Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender”. Scholarly Works. Paper 419, pg. 48
  32. Jump up to:a b “Social visibility, asylum law, and LGBT asylum seekers”Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  33. Jump up to:a b Preston, Julia (29 August 2014). “In First for Court, Woman Is Ruled Eligible for Asylum in U.S. on Basis of Domestic Abuse”The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  34. ^ Benner, Katie; Dickerson, Caitlin (11 June 2018). “Sessions Says Domestic and Gang Violence Are Not Grounds for Asylum”The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  35. ^ Human Rights Watch (12 November 2013). US: Catch-22 for Asylum Seekers. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  36. ^ Congressional Research Service Report to Congress, Unaccompanied Refugee MinorsPolicyarchive.org pg. 7
  37. Jump up to:a b “About Unaccompanied Refugee Minors”. Department of Health and Human Services.
  38. Jump up to:a b c d e “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors” (PDF). Congressional Research Service.
  39. ^ “The Vietnam War and Its Impact – Refugees and ‘boat people. Encyclopedia of the New American Nation.
  40. ^ “Lost Boys of Sudan :: About The Film”. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  41. ^ “The United States Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program” (PDF). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  42. ^ “LIRS – Stand for Welcome with Migrants and Refugees”. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  43. Jump up to:a b “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors”. Retrieved 3 December2014.
  44. ^ Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues: Intercountry Adoption Overview Adoption.state.gov
  45. ^ “Ten Facts About U.S. Refugee Resettlement”migrationpolicy.org. 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  46. ^ “A 50-State Look at Medicaid Expansion”Families USA. 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  47. ^ Agrawal, Pooja; Venkatesh, Arjun Krishna (2016). “Refugee Resettlement Patterns and State-Level Health Care Insurance Access in the United States”American Journal of Public Health106 (4): 662–3. doi:10.2105/ajph.2015.303017PMC 4816078PMID 26890186.
  48. ^ “Global Refugee Crisis”Partnership for Refugees. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  49. ^ Congressional Presentation Document Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) FY 2016 [PDF] – U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
  50. ^ “Private Sector Call to Action on Refugees”state.gov. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  51. ^ “Memorandum for Federal Prosecutors Along the Southwest Border, Zero-Tolerance for Offenses Under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)”.
  52. ^ “APA Statement Opposing Separation of Children from Parents at the Border”psychiatry.org. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  53. ^ “Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families”apa.org. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  54. ^ “AAP Statement on Executive Order on Family Separation”aap.org. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  55. ^ “Doctors oppose policy that splits kids from caregivers at border”AMA Wire. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  56. ^ “The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities”Society for Research in Child Development. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  57. ^ Shannon, Minter, (1993). “Sodomy and Public Morality Offenses under U.S. Immigration Law: Penalizing Lesbian and Gay Identity”Cornell International Law Journal26 (3). ISSN 0010-8812.
  58. ^ “Social visibility, asylum law, and LGBT asylum seekers”. Twin Cities Daily Planet. October 7, 2013.
  59. Jump up to:a b c Vogler, Stefan (2016). “Legally Queer: The Construction of Sexuality in LGBQ Asylum Claims”. Law & Society Review50 (4): 856–889.
  60. ^ Kerr, Jacob (June 19, 2015). “LGBT Asylum Seekers Not Getting Enough Relief In U.S., Report Finds”Huffington Post.
  61. ^ Taracena, Maria Inés (May 27, 2014). “LGBT Global Persecution Leads to Asylum Seekers in Southern AZ”Arizona Public Media, NPR.
  62. Jump up to:a b c Marouf, Fatma (2008). “The Emerging Importance of “Social Visibility” in Defining a “Particular Social Group” and Its Potential Impact on Asylum Claims Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender”. Yale Law & Policy Review27 (1): 47–106.
  63. Jump up to:a b c d Berger, Susan A (2009). “Production and Reproduction of Gender and Sexuality in Legal Discourses of Asylum in the United States”. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society34 (3): 659–85. doi:10.1086/593380.
  64. ^ Lewis, Rachel A; Naples, Nancy A (2014). “Introduction: Queer migration, asylum, and displacement”. Sexualities17 (8): 911–8. doi:10.1177/1363460714552251.
  65. ^ Puar, Jasbir K (2007). Terrorist Assemblagesdoi:10.1215/9780822390442ISBN 978-0-8223-9044-2.[page needed]
  66. Jump up to:a b c d e Shuman, Amy; Bohmer, Carol (2014). “Gender and cultural silences in the political asylum process”. Sexualities17(8): 939–57. doi:10.1177/1363460714552262.
  67. Jump up to:a b Rollins, Joe (2009). “Embargoed Sexuality: Rape and the Gender of Citizenship in American Immigration Law”. Politics & Gender5 (4): 519–544.
  68. Jump up to:a b c Gowin, Mary; Taylor, E. Laurette; Dunnington, Jamie; Alshuwaiyer, Ghadah; Cheney, Marshall K (2017). “Needs of a Silent Minority: Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers”. Health Promotion Practice18 (3): 332–340. doi:10.1177/1524839917692750PMID 28187690.
  69. ^ Mertus, Julie (2007). “The Rejection of Human Rights Framings: The Case of LGBT Advocacy in the US”. Human Rights Quarterly29 (4): 1036–64. doi:10.1353/hrq.2007.0045JSTOR 20072835.
  70. ^ “Best Practice Guide: Supporting LGBT Asylum Seekers in the United States” (PDF). LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network.
  71. ^ US Department of State LGBT Human Rights Fact Sheet, US Department of State, accessed May 14, 2016

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asylum_in_the_United_States

Story 3: You Can’t Always Get What You Want  — President Trump 2020 Stump Speech Preview — Trump Victory Lap — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists or REDS — Band On The Run — Videos

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Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in 1969

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
I saw her today at a reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need
Oh yeah, hey hey hey, oh…
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
Sing it to me now…
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!
I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him
You can’t always get what you want, no!
You can’t always get what you want (tell ya baby)
You can’t always get what you want (no)
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
Oh yes! Woo!
You get what you need–yeah, oh baby!
Oh yeah!
I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need
You can’t always get what you want (no, no baby)
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, ah yes…

FULL MAGA RALLY: President Trump in Grand Rapids, MI

Highlights from U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 rally in Michigan

Trump slams 2020 Democrats during Michigan rally

President Trump Talks Auto Industry and Trade: “Get the damn plants open!”

Trump: Russia investigation ‘an elaborate hoax’

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Trump shreds the Green New Deal at rally in Michigan

TRUMP ON SCHIFF: During #MAGA Rally in Grand Rapids, MI

TRUMP ON SMOLLETT: Says it might be the only time he agrees with Chicago mayor

President Trump speech at Grand Rapids, Michigan rally

Paul McCartney – Band on the Run (Live)

“Band on the Run” by Paul McCartney & Wings lyrics (HD)

Stuck inside these four walls
Sent inside forever
Never seeing no one
Nice again like you
Mama you, mama you
If I ever get out of here
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity
All I need is a pint a day
If I ever get outta here
If we ever get outta of here
Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the sun
And the first one said to the second one there
I hope you’re having fun
Band on the run, band on the run
And the jailer man and sailor Sam
Were searching every one
For the band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh
Seeing no one else had come
And a bell was ringing in the village square
For the rabbits on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
And the jailer man and sailor Sam
Were searching every one
For the band on the run
Band on the run
Yeah, the band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Well, the night was falling as the desert world
Began to settle down
In the town they’re searching for us everywhere
But we never will be found
Band on the run
Band on the run
And the county judge who held a grudge
Will search for evermore
For the band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Songwriters: Linda McCartney / Paul James McCartney
Band on the Run lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run – ITV Special – Dermot O’Leary

Paul McCartney “Hello Goodbye/All My Loving/We Can Work It Out” Live

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The Pronk Pops Show 1183, December 6, 2018, Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 2: Time Running Out For $25 Billion of Federal Funding of Wall — Trump Should Not Sign Any Bills Without Inclusion of Wall Funding of $25 Billion — Shut Government Down — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos — Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

Posted on December 7, 2018. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, American History, Applications, Barack H. Obama, Benghazi, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, James Comey, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Life, Lying, Media, Mexico, Middle East, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Obama, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Qatar, Radio, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Saudi Arabia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, South America, South Korea, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Ted Cruz, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/6/18 Breaking Fox News December 6, 2018

Hannity 12/06/18 1AM | December 06, 2018 Breaking News

FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent.

We now know the FBI used an article from Yahoo News as independent corroboration for the Steele dossier when, in fact, Steele had talked to the news outlet.

If the FBI knew Steele had that media contact before it submitted the article, it likely would be guilty of circular intelligence reporting, a forbidden tactic in which two pieces of evidence are portrayed as independent corroboration when, in fact, they originated from the same source.

These issues are why the FBI email chain, kept from most members of Congress for the past two years, suddenly landed on the declassification list.

The addition to the list also comes at a sensitive time, as House Republicans prepare on Friday to question Comey, who signed off on the FISA warrant while remaining an outlier in the intelligence community about the Steele dossier.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers now want to question Comey about whether the information in the October email string contributed to the former FBI director’s assessment.

The question long has lingered about when the doubts inside the FBI first surfaced about the allegations in the Steele dossier.

Sources tell me the email chain provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.

Sources say the specifics of the email chain remain classified, but its general sentiments about the Steele dossier and the media contacts have been discussed in nonclassified settings.

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one knowledgeable source told me.

Congressional investigators also have growing evidence that some evidence inserted into the fourth and final application for the FISA — a document signed by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was suspect.

Nunes hinted as much himself in comments he made on Sean Hannity’s Fox News TV show on Nov. 20, when he disclosed the FBI email string was added to the declassification request. The release of the documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign” and verify that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the election, Nunes said.

As more of the secret evidence used to justify the Russia probe becomes public, an increasingly dark portrait of the FBI’s conduct emerges.

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein likely hold the answers, as do the still-classified documents. It’s time all three be put under a public microscope.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

 

FBI Knew Steele Dossier Was Bogus Before Using In FISA Application: Solomon

A string of emails quietly requested by House Republicans for declassification by President Trump may be the smoking gun that the FBI and DOJ committed egregious abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The email exchanges – kept from Congressional investigators for over two years, “included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division,” according to the report – and took place in early to mid-October of 2016, prior to the FBI successfully securing a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured. –The Hill

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Two weeks after the FBI secured the FISA warrant using the Steele Dossier, Steele was fired by the FBI on November 1, 2016 for inappropriate communications with the news media.

Also withheld from both Congress and the general public until months later is the fact that Steele had been paid by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Moreover, Steele absolutely hated Donald Trump.

And as Solomon notes; “If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.”

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent. –The Hill

The FBI, however, went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.

“Not withstanding Source1’s reason for conducting the research into Candidate1’s ties to Russia, based on Source1’s previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source 1s reporting herein to be credible

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

On top of that, Bill Priestap told Congress that corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” when FISAs were being granted. An FBI unit found dossier was only “minimally” corroborated.

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Of course, none of this mattered to the FBI – which painted Carter Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant.In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.

It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

ALERT: The declassified FBI warrant application attests to secret FISA court that “THE FBI LEARNED that Page met with at least two Russian officials during the trip,”as if FBI learned this independently,when in fact it’s clear it relied on Clinton-paid dossier for the information

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

FBI represented to a federal judge that investigators knew for certain that Carter Page met w/ Igor Sechin and Diveykin. Except, the FISA app acknowledges this intel came from Steele dossier. And FBI has acknowledged dossier was not verifieid. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/21/doj-release-carter-page-fisa/ 

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Another approach used to beef up the FISA application’s curb appeal was circular evidence, via the inclusion of a letter from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to former FBI Director James Comey, citing information Reid got from John Brennan, which was in turn from the Clinton-funded dossier.

Meanwhile – current and former members of the US intelligence community continue to hinge their theories of Trump-Russia collusion on the Steele Dossier, despite Comey admitting that it was “salacious” and “unverified” during sworn testimony.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation. –The Hill

Congressional investigators now want to question Comey about the October email string and whether it contributed to his assessment. According to Solomon, the newly requested email chain “provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.”

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one source told Solomon.

What’s more, House GOP investigators now have a growing pile of evidence that some of the information inserted into a fourth and final application for the FISA – signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was suspect – as evidence by hints by House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Fox News‘s Sean Hannity TV show November 20. Nunes said that the declassification of the requested documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign.”

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

No wonder Comey wanted a public testimony – where he wouldn’t have to discuss any of this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/fbi-knew-steele-dossier-was-bogus-using-fisa-application-solomon

Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

This list includes Dennis Kucinich and investigative journalists.In 2011, Dennis Kucinich was still a Democratic congressman from Ohio. But he was not walking in lockstep with President Obama — at least not on Libya. True to his anti-war leanings, Kucinich was a staunch opponent of Obama’s unauthorized war against the Qaddafi regime.

Kucinich’s very public efforts included trying to broker negotiations between the administration and the Qaddafi regime, to whom the White House was turning a deaf ear. It was in that context that he took a call in his Washington office from Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the ruler’s son and confidant. Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.

To be sure, it is not a solid case. Kucinich is now a commentator at Fox News, on whose website he explains his side of the story, and on whose programming ardently pro-Trump contributors are a staple — including contributors who have been sympathetic to the new president’s claim that he was monitored by his predecessor. The gist of Kucinich’s piece is to “vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur.” The express point is to counter the ridicule heaped on Trump’s claim that he personally was wiretapped at Trump Tower.

As we’ve repeatedly noted (see, e.g., herehere, and here), there is no known support for Trump’s narrow claim (made in a series of March 4 tweets). Yet, there is now overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.

The answer is no.

In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.

But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?

At her website, Sharyl Attkisson provides a very useful “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline” — with “surveillance” broadly construed to encompass many varieties of government power to collect and coerce the production of information. Attkisson notes, for example:

‐The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a politicized initiative that stymied the groups’ ability to contest Obama’s reelection in 2012.

‐The administration’s targeting of journalists, including (a) attorney general Eric Holder’s approval of the seizure of personal and business phone records of Associated Press reporters en masse (i.e., not a particularized search targeting a specific journalist suspected of wrongdoing); and (b) Holder’s approval of a warrant targeting the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation — based on an application in which the government represented to a federal court that the journalist could be guilty of a felony violation of the Espionage Act in connection with a leak of classified information (in addition to purportedly being a “flight risk”).

‐The administration’s 2011 loosening of minimization procedures to enable more-liberal scrutiny of communications of American citizens incidentally swept up in foreign-intelligence gathering

‐The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report.

‐The investigation of Trump associate Carter Page, including a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant based on the claim that Page was a Russian agent, which would have authorized monitoring of Page’s communications — including any with Trump, then the Republican nominee for president.

‐The criminal leaking to the media of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

‐The “unmasking” of identities of Americans (connected to Trump) at the behest of Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice, a White House staffer and Obama confidant.

Ms. Attkisson also has her own story to tell. Formerly at CBS News, she was one of the few journalists at mainstream outlets who aggressively reported on the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi massacre. In the latter, we recall, Rice and other Obama officials falsely told the public that the attack, which resulted in the killing of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, grew out of spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video (rather than being a coordinated jihadist strike). The Obama administration later used its criminal-prosecution authority to trump up a case against its chosen scapegoat: the video producer.

Attkisson’s reporting prompted internal administration complaints that she was “out of control.”

As a tale of political spying intrigue, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal?

Based on examinations by two forensic experts, Attkisson and CBS eventually reported that her personal and work computers were “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions.” Was this “unknown party” the government? The experts say it was a highly advanced intruder, which “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity.” Moreover, one computer was infiltrated remotely by the use of “new spy software proprietary to a federal agency.”

It is a good bet that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of Qaddafi’s son and other regime figures in 2011. If so, it is likely that then-congressman Kucinich was lawfully intercepted “incidentally.” It is also entirely possible, however, that the Libyans themselves were recording their conversations with prominent Americans and that the Kucinich–Qaddafi call was found after the regime fell.

The Washington Times reporters did not reveal to Kucinich how they had gotten the tape, but the paper’s related stories had referred to “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” Moreover, if the Obama administration had been behind a vindictive leak against Kucinich, one might have expected the leak to have happened in 2011, during Kucinich’s prominent opposition to the Libya war, rather than four years later, when the regime had long been toppled and Kucinich had retired from Congress.

On the other hand, Kucinich recounts that the recording is very clear on both ends (one might expect a Libyan recording would be distinctly clearer on the Libyan end). The Washington Timesalso does not seem the most natural destination for a secret disclosure from Libya. Furthermore, Kucinich explains, he made routine FOIA requests regarding information pertinent to him before leaving Congress in 2012. Although he did not learn of the recording until 2015, these FOIA requests would have covered his communication with Qaddafi, he adds. Kucinich says that some of the intelligence agencies have failed to respond.

On its own, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling — not as a tale of political spying intrigue. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal? The measures taken to make “incidental” monitoring of Americans easier, its fruits far more widely disseminated and, inevitably, criminally leaked? The shocking abuse of IRS processes to collect information on, and procedurally persecute, Barack Obama’s political adversaries? Fast and Furious — the use of government police powers to create a political anti-gun narrative, then the contemptuous cover-up when it went horribly wrong, resulting in a Border Patrol officer’s death? The scandalous Benghazi cover-up — including a bogus prosecution of a pathetic video producer to help prop up the fraud? The monitoring of Trump associates and members of his campaign and transition staffs — the unmasking, the intentional wide dissemination of raw intelligence, the willful felony publication of classified information?

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election. And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/barack-obama-spying-journalists-dennis-kucinich-sharyl-attkisson-donald-trump-campaign-transition/

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.

he controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws.

Many have dismissed President Trump’s accusations as the unsubstantiated ramblings of a Twitter addict with little understanding of how our intelligence laws work. These may be fair criticisms—today the president cannot simply order the intelligence agencies to wiretap his domestic political opponents. But many of our surveillance authorities have been interpreted so broadly that they put vast amounts of Americans’ data easily within the president’s reach. Without significant reform, exploiting this immense pool of data may one day prove irresistible. Thus, whether President Trump’s accusations are true or not, the potential for White House officials to abuse our spying laws for political purposes is real.

It is important to remember that surveilling political opponents in the name of security is something of an American pastime. In the 1960s, the FBI targeted political activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., claiming they posed “national security” threats. Cesar Chavez, the prominent labor and civil-rights activist, was similarly tracked for years because of his supposed communist ties.

In response to many of these types of abuses, Congress created the Church Committee to investigate surveillance practices. The widespread crimes and abuse they uncovered led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. But recent disclosures demonstrate that the law did not go far enough. Moreover, passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and other laws have undercut the protections in FISA, further opening the door to biased, unjustified, or politically motivated spying. There are jarringly few protections against these abuses.

The result: if the president wanted to surveil his critics, he could exploit at least three national security authorities.

Section 702 of FISA

Section 702 of FISA was passed at the request of the Bush administration and extended at the request of the Obama administration with bipartisan support. Now the Trump administration is reportedly pushing for reauthorization of this law when it is set to expire in 2017, with the nominee for the director of national intelligence calling it the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community. FBI Director Comey once again defended the controversial program.

While Section 702 was passed to protect against international terrorism, its tentacles reach much farther. Under the law, the government collects emails and phone calls—without a warrant—of nearly 100,000 foreign “targets.” These include their conversations with people in the United States. These targets can include journalists, human-rights workers, and other individuals who have no connection to terrorism or criminal activity, and whose only offense may be discussing information related to “foreign affairs”—a nebulous term.

Over 250 million internet communications alone are collected under Section 702 annually. While the government refuses to disclose how many Americans have been swept up in this dragnet, analysis of leaked documents suggests that at least half those communications contain information about a U.S. citizen or resident. If that’s accurate, the Trump administration will collect over 125 million internet communications that contain information about someone in the United States. Given that much of the data collected under Section 702 is stored for five years or longer, it means the government likely has access to hundreds of millions of stored emails and phone calls.

Once collected, the government asserts that they can mine this information to scrutinize the activities of Americans—opening the door to political abuse. For example, if the intelligence agencies under President Obama had wanted to search through Section 702 data for information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the argument that McConnell might possess information about “foreign affairs,” no technological barrier or explicit provision in Section 702 would have stopped them. Under current procedures, no court would have needed to approve this and Senator McConnell would not need to be notified that he had been the subject of such a search.

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, this information could then be used as the basis for a criminal prosecution, criminal investigation, civil action, or additional surveillance.

Executive Order (EO) 12333

Under Executive Order 12333, the government engages in the bulk collection of communications and data—with no approval from a court or any other independent judicial body. This surveillance primarily takes place abroad. While the government is not supposed to target Americans under EO 12333, this spying likely results in the collection of information of millions of Americans. We know, for example, that the government reportedly relied on EO 12333 to steal data transmitted between certain Yahoo and Google data centers; to capture the content of all phone calls to, from, and within the Bahamas and other countries; and to collect millions of text messages from individuals around the world.

Under EO 12333, the government can target foreigners for “foreign intelligence” purposes, which, similar to Section 702, is a category so broad that it easily encompasses individuals who have no nexus to a national-security threat. As a result of recent NSA procedures, agencies across the federal government now have the right to request access to the raw information collected under EO 12333, which can contain the information of both Americans and foreigners.

While NSA officials have said there are procedures that limit the ability of the NSA to search through electronic surveillance captured under EO 12333 for information about Americans, those procedures are largely secret and can be modified purely at the discretion of the president. Moreover, the government has taken the position that information collected under the executive order can be used to prosecute Americans for certain ordinary domestic crimes—even though it was collected without a warrant.

In practice, this means that if the president decided to unilaterally change EO 12333 procedures to allow him to search for information for purposes unrelated to national security, he would have broad latitude to do so under the government’s current legal interpretations. In addition, it means that if the government stumbles across information related to these individuals in the trove of data they collect, they may assert the right to use it as the basis to prosecute or further investigate these individuals, without ever notifying them. This creates a bizarre incentive for any ill-intentioned president: the more information collected under EO 12333 in the name of security, the more information that can be mined for other purposes.

“Traditional” FISA

Although FISA was passed with the admirable goal of halting many of the surveillance abuses of the 1960s, this statutory scheme is not nearly as protective as a warrant. Specifically, unlike an ordinary warrant or wiretapping order, a traditional FISA order does not require the government to believe that its spying will produce evidence of a crime, and the secrecy surrounding the FISA court undermines effective oversight. For these reasons, the ACLU has long cautioned that FISA authorities are prone to abuse.

Under FISA, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance, it must submit an application to the secret intelligence court demonstrating that there is probable cause that its individual target is a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and it must identify the particular phone line or communications facility used by the target. The terms “foreign power or agent of a foreign power” are broadly defined. They include foreign government officials, foreign political organizations not substantially composed of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, and foreign individuals engaged in terrorism. While this authority is certainly narrower than EO 12333 or Section 702, it too leaves room for abuse.

For example, under traditional FISA, the government would have the authority to surveil virtually any foreign government official—including that official’s entirely legal conversations with individuals in the United States. These communications can be retained or disseminated under procedures that are more lenient than those that apply to federal wiretaps. For instance, in the wiretapping context, the government is supposed to immediately purge communications that are considered irrelevant. FISA, by contrast, permits retention, analysis, and dissemination of Americans’ information for years, regardless of whether there is any evidence of criminal activity.

The Potential for Abuse Is Real, No Matter What the Intel Community Says

The intelligence agencies would argue that these authorities do not permit the government to deliberately “target” Americans—at least not without a warrant—mitigating constitutional concerns. But that explanation only tells half the story. The reality is that these authorities are used to vacuum up large amounts of Americans’ data, do not prevent the government from knowingly capturing the communications that Americans have with tens of thousands of foreign “targets,” and, in some cases, routinely collect purely domestic communications. Moreover, once Americans’ information is collected, there are inadequate safeguards to ensure that such data is not inappropriately used.  

The fact that our intelligence-gathering laws leave room for politically motivated surveillance should give us pause. And it’s not enough for President Trump or members of Congress to simply express outrage that the private communications of political leaders could have been surveilled. With the expiration of Section 702 looming, they have the opportunity to push for a complete overhaul of our surveillance authorities, and ensure that they are brought fully in line with the requirements of our Constitution.  

In other words, President Trump should match his action to his tweets, and demand that Section 702 and other authorities be reformed.

Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/could-the-president-spy-on-his-political-opponents/

Story 2: Time Running Out For Federal $25 Billion Funding Appropriation $25 Billion of for Trump’s  Wall — Videos

Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for helping hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.

Funding for the wall — a top Trump priority — and legal protections for so-called Dreamers, a key Democratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said.

“They’re two different subjects,” she said.

Her comments came as the House and Senate approved a stopgap bill Thursday to keep the government funded through Dec. 21. The measure, approved by voice votes in near-empty chambers, now goes to the White House.

Trump has promised to sign the two-week extension to allow for ceremonies this week honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected. Trump is set to meet Tuesday at the White House with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said the lame-duck Congress should now pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” Pelosi said, noting that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it, an idea Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected.

Even if Mexico did pay for the wall, “it’s immoral still,” Pelosi said.

Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.

Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.

If Republicans object to the proposal because of pressure from Trump, Schumer said lawmakers should follow Pelosi’s advice and approve six appropriations bills and a separate measure extending current funding for Homeland Security.

Either option would avert a partial government shutdown, which lawmakers from both parties oppose, he said.

“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” Schumer said. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats, who face increasing pressure from outside groups and liberal lawmakers to resist Trump’s continued push for the barrier, which Trump says is needed to stop an “invasion” of Central American migrants and others from crossing into the country illegally.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said he prefers to include Homeland Security in an omnibus package containing seven unresolved spending bills for the current budget year.

“I believe the best route is to keep all seven together and pass them,” the Alabama Republican told reporters Thursday. Lawmakers have “made a lot of progress” in recent weeks on the seven spending bills. “I’d like to conclude it,’” he said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican leadership, said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

“It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this story.

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Sessions departed from the role last month, and Trump named Matthew Whitaker as the government’s top lawyer on an interim basis. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert, Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

President Trump To Tap Former Attorney General William Barr To Head Justice Department

William P. Barr

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Bill Barr
William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg
77th United States Attorney General
In office
November 26, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Thornburgh
Succeeded by Janet Reno
25th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 1990 – November 26, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Donald B. Ayer
Succeeded by George J. Terwilliger III
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legal Counsel
In office
April 1989 – May 1990
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Douglas Kmiec
Succeeded by J. Michael Luttig
Personal details
Born
William Pelham Barr

May 23, 1950 (age 68)
New York CityNew York, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Moynihan
Children 3
Education Columbia University (BAMA)
George Washington University(JD)

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States. He is a Republican and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

Early life, education, and career

Barr was born in New York City. The son of Columbia University faculty members Mary and Donald Barr, he grew up on the Upper West Side, attended the Corpus Christi School and Horace Mann School. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1971 and his M.A. degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. He received his J.D. degree with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School.[1]

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

From 1973-77, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

Department of Justice

Barr and Dan Quayle watch as President George H. W. Bush signs the Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1991

During 1989, at the beginning of his administration, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor for the President and executive agencies. Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted by the United States government for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

During May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr was generally praised for his professional management of the Department.[4]

Acting Attorney General of the United States

During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr accepted that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6]

Nomination and confirmation

It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr’s management of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

Barr’s two-day confirmation hearing was “unusually placid” and he received a good reception from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8] Asked whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8] Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the “first candid answer” he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade.[9] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”[9]

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[10] The New York Times described the “central theme” of his tenure to be: “his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders.”[10] At the same time, reporters consistently described Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[11]

Subsequent career

After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[12] Barr currently serves with several corporate boards.[citation needed]

In his adopted home state of Virginia, Barr was appointed during 1994 by then-Governor George Allen to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in the state.[13] He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg from 1997 to 2005.[14]

He became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009.

In 2009, Barr was of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis and joined the firm in 2017.[15]

On December 6, 2018, it was reported that President Donald Trump was considering Barr to be Attorney General.[16][17]

Policy positions

Immigration

As deputy attorney general, Barr successfully challenged a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people with HIV/AIDS into the United States.[18] He also advocated the use of Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and HIV infected peoples from claiming asylum in the United States.[19]

Crime and security

Social issues

Barr has stated that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8]

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

Barr is an avid bagpiper, an avocation he began at age 8, and has played competitively in Scotland with a major American pipe band; he was a member for some time of the City of Washington Pipe Band.[20]

Barr is a Roman Catholic. He married Christine Moynihan in June 1973, and they have three grown daughters. He is a resident of Virginia.[citation needed]

References … 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Barr

Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

The US Is Making Its Mark On The Global Oil Market, But How Long Will It Last?

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years

 Updated on 
  • Crude, refined products exports exceed imports in weekly data
  • Shale boom has boosted U.S. crude oil shipments to record
Oil Analyst Sankey Sees OPEC Cuts Stabilizing Market Short-Term
Paul Sankey, analyst at Mizuho, examines what production cuts from OPEC+ can mean to the global oil market.

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

American Oil Renaissance

U.S. net imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products

Sources: 1918-1948 courtesy of Michael Lynch and adapted from American Petroleum Institute’s ‘Petroleum Facts and Figures 1959’; for 1949-2017 U.S. EIA ‘Monthly Energy Review’. 2018 and 2019 are forecast from the EIA.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/u-s-becomes-a-net-oil-exporter-for-the-first-time-in-75-years

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018, Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt To Get Trump — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos — Story 2: Authoritarianism of Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos

Posted on August 1, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Climate Change, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Economics, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Senate, Social Security, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos —

Why Mueller isn’t having success with Manafort

Potential impact of Manafort trial on Russia probe

Jury Selected In First Day Of Paul Manafort Trial | Katy Tur | MSNBC

Conway on Manafort trial, possible Iran meeting, immigration

Judge sends Manafort to jail, pending trial

Giuliani: Mueller probe not a legitimate investigation

 

Prosecutors’ opening statement: ‘Paul Manafort lied’

Jury seated in Paul Manafort trial 01:32

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN)Prosecutors accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being a “shrewd” liar who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars, in opening statements that kicked off Manafort’s trial on Tuesday.

Manafort lived an “extravagant lifestyle” fueled by millions of dollars in “secret income” that he earned from his lobbying in Ukraine, said Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Manafort became wealthy from the “cash spigot” that came from working for his “golden goose in Ukraine,” former President Viktor Yanukovych, Asonye said.
“All of these charges boil down to one simple issue: that Paul Manafort lied,” Asonye said. “Manafort placed himself and his money over the law.”
The case against Manafort outlined by prosecutors on Tuesday represents a new phase in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling — the first jury trial stemming from the probe that President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked as a “witch hunt.”

In opening statements for the defense, Manafort’s defense attorney Thomas Zehnle laid out the bare bones of his side of the case, shifting much of the blame to the Ukrainian oligarchs Manafort worked for and the business associates he worked with.
“This is the way that they required it to be done,” Zehnle said, arguing why oligarchs paid Manafort through secret foreign accounts. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Manafort hid 30 foreign bank accounts from US authorities.
Of Manafort’s associates, like longtime deputy Rick Gates, Zehnle said, “he trusted them to speak with one another and make sure things were done right.” Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year to participating in Manafort’s alleged financial conspiracy and is slated to testify against him.
Both men were top officials in Trump’s campaign, but that is not part of the criminal case against Manafort in this trial.
Zehnle specifically attacked Gates and called him “the prosecution’s star witness.”
Manafort is facing 18 charges, including accusations of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and defrauding several banks. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 305 years in prison. He has denied all charges.
Manafort arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning wearing a black suit, with his hair neatly parted.

Luxurious spending habits

To demonstrate Manafort’s lavish spending habits, Asonye told jurors that Manafort owned several homes, acquired real estate in New York and Virginia, bought expensive cars and watches, and even got a $15,000 jacket “made from an ostrich.”
As he started delivering his opening statement, Asonye earned a near-immediate rebuke from Judge T.S. Ellis, who told him not to tell jurors that “the evidence will show” that the allegations against Manafort are true.
During his preliminary instructions to the jury, Ellis reminded told jurors that “you and you alone are the sole judges to the facts in this case.”
The opening statements were delivered not long after the jury was selected and sworn in on Tuesday. The 12-person jury comprises six men and six women. There are also four alternates, three women and a man.
Ellis had given the pool of 65 potential jurors an overview of the charges against Manafort, though he reminded the group that the indictment “is not evidence of any guilt whatsoever.”
The pool was also nearly evenly split between men and women. The group was predominantly white, with fewer than a dozen nonwhite potential jurors. Most were comfortably middle-aged.
Nine potential jurors indicated they have connections to the Justice Department, including four who said they were current or former federal employees. Two joked that they were “recovering attorneys.” All affirmed that they could handle the case without any bias.
None said they knew Manafort, his lawyers or their law firms.
One younger woman said she knew Justice Department attorneys from her work at a Silicon Valley-based tech company. Another man brought a John Grisham novel into the courtroom.

‘Witch hunt’

The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Manafort was a senior Trump campaign aide and he led the campaign for several months, but the charges are not directly related to campaign activity, as the White House has repeatedly emphasized.
“The judge has very strictly instructed no mention of Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, no mention of Trump, Russia or collusion,” senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.”
While Trump has repeatedly railed against Manafort and the “witch hunt” on Twitter in recent weeks, he has not tweeted about Manafort specifically in more than a month. He said June 15 that Manafort received a “tough sentence” after his bond was revoked over allegations of witness tampering.
Manafort faces a maximum of 305 years in prison if he is convicted on all charges. Prosecutors say he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, failed to pay taxes while spending the money on US real estate and luxury purchases, and lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans.
Before jury selection got underway, Ellis said he did not plan to offer decisions on Tuesday about all of the documents that Manafort’s team wants to keep out of the trial. They hope to prevent jurors from seeing some documents and photos from Manafort’s lobbying work in Ukraine.
Instead, the judge gave broad directions to the prosecutors: Try to reduce the number of Ukrainian documents given to the jury, use testimony to add context and don’t refer to individual documents in opening statements.
Ellis said he thinks “the government’s correct” in using the documents to broadly show how Manafort made his money. Prosecutors say Manafort made $60 million from his work.

Appeals court rejects request to be freed

Manafort appears likely to remain in jail throughout his trial after a federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected his request to overturn a lower court’s decision to send him to jail before trial.
Tuesday’s ruling from a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was unanimous.
Manafort’s bail was revoked in June while he was on house arrest, after prosecutors accused him of tampering with witnesses.
The appellate judges said Manafort was rightfully jailed because he had decided “to push the envelope by contributing to an op-ed in a foreign newspaper” while under a gag order, and also had “repeated communications with potential witnesses” for his upcoming trial. In addition to his Virginia case, Manafort faces lobbying-related charges in Washington.
The panel agreed with some of Manafort’s arguments, for instance that the gag order in his Virginia case was somewhat ambiguous. But it ultimately said this wasn’t enough to look past Manafort’s conduct and set him free from jail.

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Michael Parenti

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Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti.jpg

Michael Parenti
Born Michael John Parenti
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Political scientisthistorianmedia critic
Nationality American
Education City College of New YorkB.A.
Brown UniversityM.A.
Yale UniversityPh.D.
Subject Historypoliticseconomics
Children Christian Parenti
Website
michaelparenti.org

Michael John Parenti (born 1933) is an American political scientist and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects. He has taught at American and international universities and has been a guest lecturer before campus and community audiences.[1][2]

 

Education and personal life

Michael Parenti was raised in an Italian-American working-class family and neighborhood in New York City about which he has written.[3] He received a BA from City College of New York, an MA from Brown University, and his PhD in political science from Yale University. Parenti is the father of Christian Parenti, an author and contributor to The Nation magazine.

Career

For many years Parenti taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.[4] He is the author of 23 books and many more articles. His works have been translated into at least eighteen languages.[5] Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad.

Parenti’s writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economyimperialismfascismcommunismdemocratic socialismfree-market orthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, religionancient historymodern historyhistoriography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalismsexismracismVenezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.[6][7][8] His influential book Democracy for the Few,[9] now in its ninth edition, is a critical analysis of U.S. society, economy, and political institutions and a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing.[10] In recent years he has addressed such subjects as “Empires: Past and Present,” “US Interventionism: the Case of Iraq,” “Race, Gender, and Class Power,” “Ideology and History,” “The Collapse of Communism,” and “Terrorism and Globalization.”[5]

In 1974, Parenti ran in Vermont on the Liberty Union Party ticket for U.S. Congress and received 7% of the vote.[11]

In the 1980s, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., in 2003, the Caucus for a New Political Science gave him a Career Achievement Award. In 2007, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and an award from New Jersey Peace Action.[citation needed]

He served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored. He also is on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, and Education Without Borders; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought.[12]

Writings

To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia

In 2000, Verso Books published Parenti’s To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia.[13] According to Kirkus Reviews: “Parenti dissents from every piece of conventional wisdom about the former Yugoslavia’s breakup, the Kosovo crisis, and the NATO bombing campaign against the Serbian state in purported support of the Kosovar Albanians. Instead, he assembles an alternate history in which an American-led coalition backed by aggressive financial interests precipitated the civil war and the profoundly destructive air campaign that killed at least 3,000 civilians.”[13] Publishers Weekly’s review stated: “Parenti gives an unabashedly critical assessment of this intervention, based on a solid and passionate rejection of Western leaders’ ‘lies’ about events in the Balkans and Western interests in that part of the world. Readers not familiar with his leftist analysis may find Parenti’s dismissal of NATO’s justification for its 1999 bombing campaign shocking or silly; others may find it thought-provoking.”[14]

The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome

External video
 Booknotes interview with Parenti on The Assassination of Julius Caesar, September 7, 2003C-SPAN

In 2003 The New Press published Parenti’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome.[15] PW said, “Parenti… narrates a provocative history of the late republic in Rome (100–33 B.C.) to demonstrate that Caesar’s death was the culmination of growing class conflict, economic disparity and political corruption.”[16] Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Populist historian Parenti… views ancient Rome’s most famous assassination not as a tyrannicide but as a sanguinary scene in the never-ending drama of class warfare.”[15] Kirkus Reviews described the book as “revisionist history at its most provocative.”[15] Political Affairs wrote: “This is an excellent book and a good read.”[17]

God and His Demons

Prometheus Books published Parenti’s 2010 book, God and His Demons.[18] Writing for the San Francisco ChronicleDon Lattin said: “God and his Demons is a depressing, mean-spirited book. Much of it is a recounting of the usual suspects we find in the new wave of atheist chic nonfiction – targets like Islamist extremists, TV preachers, child-molesting Catholic priests, Christian-right political operatives, creationists, cult leaders and, for historical context, a reminder that the Crusades and the Inquisition were no picnic either, along with a tired recounting of all those troublesome passages in the Hebrew Bible and the anti-Semitism in much New Testament translation.”[18] Calling it an “angry volume” that “makes no clear argument”, Publishers Weekly said: “His condescending tirade is directed not so much at religion as at human beings whom—one gets the impression—he can barely suffer.”[19]

Appearances in media

Apart from several recordings of some of his public speeches, Parenti has also appeared in the 1992 documentary Panama Deception, the 2004 Liberty Bound and 2013 Fall and Winter documentaries as an author and social commentator.

Parenti was interviewed in Boris Malagurski‘s documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014). He was also interviewed for two episodes of the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, speaking briefly about the Dalai Lama (Episode 305 – Holier Than Thou) and patriotism (Episode 508 – Mount Rushmore).

New York City-based punk rock band Choking Victim use a number of samples from Michael Parenti’s lectures in their album, No Gods, No Managers.

Bibliography

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Parenti

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018, Story 1: President Trump All Caps Tweet Directed At Iranian Leadership — Don’t Mess With Trump — Vidoes — Story 2: Trump Explores Revoking Security Clearances of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — Trump Should Order Attorney General Session to Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Waiting For Mueller Final Report and November 2018 Elections — Videos — Story 3: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Failed When Warrant Application Was Approved Allowing Department of Justice, FBI, and Intelligence Community To Spy on American People and Republican Party Based on Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee Bought and Paid For Opposition Research Not Disclosed Nor Verified To FISA Court — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump All Caps Tweet Directed At Iranian Leadership — Don’t Mess With Trump — Vidoes

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Scott Adams – President Trump’s All-Caps Tweet to Iran

 

Just tough Trump tweeting? US ratchets up Iran pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s explosive twitter threat to Iran’s leader comes as his administration is ratcheting up a pressure campaign on the Islamic republic that many suspect is aimed at regime change.

No one is predicting imminent war. But Trump’s bellicose, all-caps challenge addressed to President Hassan Rouhani followed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he accused Iran’s leadership of massive corruption and widespread rights abuses and urged Iranians to rise up in protest.

Trump’s tweet doesn’t appear to have been prompted by any notable shift in rhetoric from Iran.

It could have been an impulsive reaction to reports from Tehran quoting Rouhani as giving the U.S. an oft-repeated reminder that conflict with Iran would be “the mother of all wars.” Yet animosity directed at the Iranian leadership is an established part of the administration’s broader foreign policy.

The White House says President Donald Trump’s threatening tweet shows he’s not going to tolerate critical rhetoric from Iran, but claims the U.S. leader isn’t escalating tensions between the two countries. (July 23)

Iran publicly shrugged off Trump’s late Sunday message — “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

Tweeted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday: COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones_for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!”

Asked at the White House if he had concerns about provoking Iran, Trump said simply, “None at all.”

Tehran is already aware of what is coming from the administration as consequences of Trump’s May withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord take shape.

As Pompeo noted in his speech to Iranian-Americans and others in California on Sunday, the centerpiece will be the re-imposition of U.S. economic sanctions; the first batch will go back into force on Aug. 4 targeting the Iranian automotive sector and trade in gold and other metals. A more significant set of sanctions that will hit Iran’s oil industry and central bank by punishing countries and companies that do business with them will resume on Nov. 4.

Pompeo also slammed Iran’s political, judicial and military officials, accusing several by name of participating in rampant corruption, and called its religious leaders “hypocritical holy men” who amassed wealth while allowing their people to suffer. He said the government has “heartlessly repressed its own people’s human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms,” and he hailed the “proud Iranian people (for) not staying silent about their government’s many abuses.”

“The United States under President Trump will not stay silent either,” he said.

He was right. True to form, Trump did not stay silent. But the White House blamed Rouhani for inciting the war of words with his comment that “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!,” Trump wrote.

Reaction from Congress, particularly Democrats, was swift and critical.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, acknowledged that Iran’s terrorist activities in the Middle East pose a threat but suggested it wouldn’t be solved through a tweet from Trump.

“Sadly, after pulling us out of the nuclear deal with Europe and Iran, there doesn’t seem to be strategy for how to move forward to fight Iran’s activities,” she said.

And Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, the former Democratic vice presidential candidate, called the Twitter blast from the White House “another warning sign that Trump is blundering toward war with Iran.”

Trump’s National Security Council pushed back:

“Our differences are with the Iranian regime’s actions and, in particular, with the actions of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, not the Iranian people. The Trump administration’s Iran policy seeks to address the totality of these threats and malign activities and to bring about a change in the Iranian regime’s behavior.”

“If anybody’s inciting anything, look no further than to Iran,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. She added that Trump has been “very clear about what he’s not going to allow to take place.”

Trump has a history of firing off heated tweets that seem to quickly escalate long-standing disputes with leaders of nations at odds with the U.S.

In the case of North Korea, the verbal war cooled quickly and gradually led to the high-profile summit and denuclearization talks. Still there has been little tangible progress in a global push to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons program since the historic Trump-Kim Jong Un summit on June 12.

___

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, David Rising in Dubai, Aron Heller in Jerusalem, Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul and Michael Casey in Concord, New Hampshire contributed.

___

This story has been corrected to correct Trump tweet: ‘Likes’ of which, not ‘like.’

https://apnews.com/33bbdee2506645859222e0f5252b288f/White-House-blames-Iran-for-war-of-words-with-Trump

 

Story 2: President Trump Explores Revoking Security Clearances of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — Trump Should Order Attorney General Session to Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Waiting For Mueller Final Report and November 2018 Elections — Videos —

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Clapper On President Donald Trump Revoking Security Clearance: Very Petty | Hardball | MSNBC

What’s Needed Desperately: Operation Wrath of Trump

Trump looking into revoking security clearances for Brennan, other top Obama officials

President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, accusing them of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service.

She made the announcement at Monday’s press briefing, after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called on the president to specifically revoke Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance.

Sanders said Trump is considering it — and also looking into the clearances for other former officials and Trump critics: former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former CIA Director Michael Hayden (who also worked under President George W. Bush).

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy on the political fallout from the IG report and the Mueller investigation.

Sanders said Trump is “exploring mechanisms” to remove the security clearances “because [the former officials] politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.”

Sanders added that their clearances effectively give “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

“When you have the highest level of security clearance … when you have the nation’s secrets at hand, and go out and make false [statements], the president feels that’s something to be very concerned with,” Sanders said.

According McCabe’s spokesperson Melissa Schwartz, however, his security clearance had already been deactivated when he was fired.

“Andrew McCabe’s security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. You would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps…,” Schwartz tweeted Monday.

Benjamin Wittes, a friend of Comey’s, tweeted Monday afternoon that he texted the former FBI director, who told him he doesn’t have a security clearance to revoke.

When asked whether former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden might have their security clearances revoked, Sanders said she did not have any further information.

FILE - In this June 7, 2017, file photo, FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCabe drafted a memo on the firing of his onetime boss, ex-director James Comey. That’s according to a person familiar with the memo, who insisted on anonymity to discuss a secret document that has been provided to special counsel Robert Mueller. The person said the memo concerned a conversation McCabe had with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Rosenstein’s preparations for Comey’s firing. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

President Trump is looking into revoking former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s security clearance, but McCabe’s spokesman said that clearance had already been deactivated.  (AP)

The topic came into the spotlight Monday morning, with Paul’s tweets against the former CIA director.

“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?” Paul tweeted early Monday.

Brennan joined NBC News and MSNBC in February as a contributor and senior national security and intelligence analyst. A spokesperson for the networks did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Paul’s tweet, which did not list any specific allegations.

The Kentucky Republican, who last week jumped to Trump’s defense as the president faced bipartisan criticism over his summit and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed up the original tweet by saying:

“Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!”

Paul’s tweets come as fellow congressional Republicans push for Brennan to testify on Capitol Hill regarding the investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.

The former CIA director has been a consistent and harsh critic of the president, blasting his performance with Putin in Helsinki as “nothing short of treasonous.”

But Brennan is not the only former intelligence official to take to the media world. In April, Comey began a media blitz promoting his new memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” while Hayden and Rice also frequently make media appearances.

On Twitter, just minutes after the announcement from the White House brieifing, Hayden responded in a tweet to several journalists that a loss of security clearance would not have an “effect” on him.

“I don’t go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write,” Hayden tweeted.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/23/trump-looking-into-revoking-security-clearances-for-brennan-other-top-obama-officials.html

 

 

Story 3: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Failed When Warrant Application Was Approved Allowing Department of Justice, FBI, and Intelligence Community To Spy on American People and Republican Party Based on Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee Bought and Paid For Opposition Research Not Disclosed Nor Verified To FISA Court — Videos

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FISA Applications Confirm: The FBI Relied on the Unverified Steele Dossier

One-time advisor of Donald Trump Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)

A salacious Clinton-campaign product was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.On a sleepy summer Saturday, after months of stonewalling, the FBI dumped 412 pages of documents related to the Carter Page FISA surveillance warrants — the applications, the certifications, and the warrants themselves. Now that we can see it all in black and white — mostly black, as they are heavily redacted — it is crystal clear that the Steele dossier, an unverified Clinton-campaign product, was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.

Based on the dossier, the FBI told the FISA court it believed that Carter Page, who had been identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser, was coordinating with the Russian government in an espionage conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

This sensational allegation came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy. The FISA court was not told that the Clinton campaign was behind Steele’s work. Nor did the FBI and Justice Department inform the court that Steele’s allegations had never been verified. To the contrary, each FISA application — the original one in October 2016, and the three renewals at 90-day intervals — is labeled “VERIFIED APPLICATION” (bold caps in original). And each one makes this breathtaking representation:

The FBI has reviewed this verified application for accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s).

In reality, the applications were never verified for accuracy.

What ‘Verify’ Means
Consider this: The representation that the FBI’s verification procedures include sending the application to “appropriate field offices” is standard in FISA warrant applications. It is done because the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) mandates that the bureau “ensure that information appearing in a FISA application that is presented to the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] has been thoroughly vetted and confirmed.” (See House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes March 1, 2018, letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, embedded here.) The point is to assure the court that the FBI has corroborated the allegations in the warrant application in the usual way.

A hypothetical shows how this works. Let’s say that X, an informant, tells the FBI in Washington that Y, a person in St. Louis, told him that Z, the suspect, is plotting to rob the bank.

X’s story is unverified; he doesn’t know anything firsthand about Z — he only knows what Y has told him. Obviously, then, the FBI does not instantly run to court and seek a warrant against Z. Instead, the bureau sends an investigative “lead” from headquarters in Washington to the FBI field office in St. Louis. FBI agents in St. Louis then go find and interview Y. Based on that interview, the FBI gathers supporting information (perhaps physical surveillance of Z, scrutiny of available documents and records about Z, etc.). Only then, after debriefing the witness with competent knowledge, do the Justice Department and FBI seek a warrant against Z from the court. In the application, they explain to the judge that they have verified X’s information by interviewing Y and then corroborating Y’s version of events. In fact, if they get solid enough information about Z from Y, there may be no reason even to mention X, whose tip to the FBI was sheer hearsay.

But that is not what happened with the Carter Page FISA warrants.

Were the allegations thoroughly vetted and confirmed by proof independent of Steele before being presented to the FISA court? No, they were not.

The FBI presented the court with allegations posited by Steele. He is in the position of X in our hypothetical. He is not the source of any of the relevant information on which the court was asked to rely for its probable-cause finding that Page was a clandestine agent of Russia. In this context, source means a reliable witness who saw or heard some occurrence on which the court is being asked to base its ruling.

Steele has not been in Russia for about 20 years. In connection with the dossier allegations, he was merely the purveyor of information from the actual sources — unidentified Russians who themselves relied on hearsay information from other sources (sometimes double and triple hearsay, very attenuated from the supposed original source).

In each Carter Page FISA warrant application, the FBI represented that it had “reviewed this verified application for accuracy.” But did the bureau truly ensure that the information had been “thoroughly vetted and confirmed”? Remember, we are talking here about serious, traitorous allegations against an American citizen and, derivatively, an American presidential campaign.

When the FBI averred that it had verified for accuracy the application that posited these allegations, it was, at best, being hyper-technical, and thus misleading. What the bureau meant was that its application correctly stated the allegations as Steele had related them. But that is not what “verification” means. The issue is not whether Steele’s allegations were accurately described; it is whether they were accurate, period. Were the allegations thoroughly vetted and confirmed by proof independent of Steele before being presented to the FISA court — which is what common sense and the FBI’s own manual mean by “verified”?

No, they were not.

There Is No Reason to Believe the Redactions Corroborate Steele
I have been making this point for months. When I made it again in a Fox and Friends interview on Sunday morning, critics asked how I could say such a thing when the warrants are pervasively redacted — how could I be so sure, given all we concededly don’t know, that the redactions do not corroborate Steele?

The critics’ tunnel vision on the redactions ignores the months of hearings and reporting on this core question, which I’ve continuously detailed. Here, for example, is what two senior Judiciary Committee senators, Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham, wrote in a classified memo early this year after reviewing FISA applications (the memo was finally declassified and publicized over the objections of the FBI):

The bulk of the [first Carter Page FISA] application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier. The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.

The senators went on to recount the concession by former FBI director James Comey that the bureau had relied on the credibility of Steele (who had previously assisted the bureau in another investigation), not the verification of Steele’s sources. In June 2017 testimony, Comey described information in the Steele dossier as “salacious and unverified.”

Moreover, the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, told Congress that the bureau tried very hard to verify Steele’s information but could provide no points of verification beyond the fact that Page did travel to Russia in July 2016 — a fact that required no effort to corroborate since the trip was unconcealed and widely known. (Page delivered a public commencement address at the New Economic School.) Furthermore, in British legal proceedings, Steele himself has described the information he provided to the FBI as “raw intelligence” that was “unverified.”

I freely acknowledge that we do not know what the redactions say. But we have been very well informed about what they do not say. They do not verify the allegations in the Steele dossier. I have no doubt that they have a great deal to say about Russia and its nefarious anti-American operations. But the FBI has been taking incoming fire for months about failing to corroborate Steele. No institution in America guards its reputation more zealously than does the FBI. If Steele had been corroborated, rest assured that the bureau would not be suffering in silence.

When the government seeks a warrant, it is supposed to show the court that the actual sources of information are reliable.

Plus, do you really think the FBI and Justice Department wanted to use the Steele dossier? Of course they didn’t. They undoubtedly believed Steele’s allegations (the applications say as much). That is no surprise given how much their top echelons loathed Donald Trump. But they were also well aware of the dossier’s significant legal problems — the suspect sourcing, the multiple hearsay. If they had solid evidence that verified Steele’s allegations, they would have used that evidence as their probable cause showing against Page. Instead, they used the dossier because, as McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee, without it they would have had no chance of persuading a judge that Page was a clandestine agent.

Whatever is in the redactions cannot change that.

There Is No Vicarious Credibility
To repeat what we’ve long said here, there is no vicarious credibility in investigations. When the government seeks a warrant, it is supposed to show the court that the actual sources of information are reliable — i.e., they were in a position to see or hear the relevant facts, and they are worthy of belief. It is not sufficient to show that the agent who assembles the source information is credible.

The vast majority of our investigators are honorable people who would never lie to a judge. But that is irrelevant because, in assessing probable cause, the judge is not being asked to rely on the honesty of the agent. The agent, after all, is under oath and supervised by a chain of command at the FBI and the Justice Department; the judge will generally assume that the agent is honestly and accurately describing the information he has gotten from various sources.

The judge’s main task is not to determine if the agent is credible. It is to weigh the reliability of the agent’s sources. Are the sources’ claims supported by enough evidence that the court should approve a highly intrusive warrant against an American citizen?

Here, Steele was in the position of an investigative agent relaying information. He was not a source (or informant) who saw or heard relevant facts. Even if we assume for argument’s sake that Steele is honest and reliable, that would tell us nothing about who his sources are, whether they were really in a position to see or hear the things they report, and whether they have a history of providing accurate information. Those are the questions the FBI must answer in order to vet and confirm factual allegations before presenting them to the FISA court. That was not done; the FBI relied on Steele’s reputation to vouch for his source’s claims.

The FISA Judges
In my public comments Sunday morning, I observed that the newly disclosed FISA applications are so shoddy that the judges who approved them ought to be asked some hard questions. I’ve gotten flak for that, no doubt because President Trump tweeted part of what I said. I stand by it. Still, some elaboration, which a short TV segment does not allow for, is in order.

I prefaced my remark about the judges with an acknowledgment of my own personal embarrassment. When people started theorizing that the FBI had presented the Steele dossier to the FISA court as evidence, I told them they were crazy: The FBI, which I can’t help thinking of as myFBI after 20 years of working closely with the bureau as a federal prosecutor, would never take an unverified screed and present it to a court as evidence. I explained that if the bureau believed the information in a document like the dossier, it would pick out the seven or eight most critical facts and scrub them as only the FBI can — interview the relevant witnesses, grab the documents, scrutinize the records, connect the dots. Whatever application eventually got filed in the FISA court would not even allude en passant to Christopher Steele or his dossier. The FBI would go to the FISA court only with independent evidence corroborated through standard FBI rigor.

Should I have assumed I could be wrong about that? Sure, even great institutions go rogue now and again. But even with that in mind, I would still have told the conspiracy theorists they were crazy — because in the unlikely event the FBI ever went off the reservation, the Justice Department would not permit the submission to the FISA court of uncorroborated allegations; and even if that fail-safe broke down, a court would not approve such a warrant.

It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong. The FBI (and, I’m even more sad to say, my Justice Department) brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information.

It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong.

I am embarrassed by this not just because I assured people it could not have happened, and not just because it is so beneath the bureau — especially in a politically fraught case in which the brass green-lighted the investigation of a presidential campaign. I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards. Any trained FBI agent would know that even the best FBI agent in the country could not get a warrant based on his own stellar reputation. A fortiori, you would never seek a warrant based solely on the reputation of Christopher Steele — a non-American former intelligence agent who had political and financial incentives to undermine Donald Trump. It is always, always necessary to persuade the court that the actual sources of information allegedly amounting to probable cause are believable.

Well, guess what? No one knows that better than experienced federal judges, who deal with a steady diet of warrant applications. It is basic. Much of my bewilderment, in fact, stems from the certainty that if I had been so daft as to try to get a warrant based on the good reputation of one of my FBI case agents, with no corroboration of his or her sources, just about any federal judge in the Southern District of New York would have knocked my block off — and rightly so.

That’s why I said it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/carter-page-fisa-applications-fbi-steele-dossier/

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1107, Story 1: Arrogant, Biased, Corrupt, Deceptive, Evasive FBI Agent Peter Strzok Unindicted Co-conspirator of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Attorney General Sessions Must Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate The Conspiracy or Resign and President Trump Should Accept Resignation — Part 1 of 2 — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

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Story 1: Arrogant, Biased, Corrupt, Deceptive, Evasive FBI Agent Peter Strzok Unindicted Co-conspirator of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Attorney General Sessions Must Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate The Conspiracy or Resign and President Trump Should Accept Resignation — Part 1 of 2 — Videos

Joe diGenova describes “Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton”

Published on Jan 21, 2018

Congress Exposes FBI Coup Against Trump

Published on Jun 20, 2018

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

Dershowitz reacts to Strzok hearing, Russia indictments

The fieriest moments from Peter Strzok’s hearing

Ingraham: Trump-hating FBI investigator ‘Strzok out’

Rudy Giuliani: Strzok’s defense is ridiculous, pathetic

Mueller didn’t want to ask Strzok if he was bias: Rep. Gaetz

Gowdy: Strzok is the only one who doesn’t think he’s biased

Hannity: Strzok was at the heart of the deep state

Dershowitz on Strzok testimony: A disaster, everybody looked terrible

Bruce Ohr gave parts of Russia dossier to DOJ, FBI: Rep. Jordan

Giuliani on possibility FBI had multiple versions of dossier

FBI’s Peter Strzok denies that bias impacted his work

Rep. Goodlatte Opening Statement at FBI’s Strzok Hearing July 12, 2018

OUT OF ORDER FIGHT! When Andy Biggs,(R)AZ Blasts Strvok

I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!!!” Peter Strzok Hearing GOES OFF THE RAILS During Trey Gowdy’s Questioning

Complete exchange between Rep. Trey Gowdy and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter

Strzok

“Let’s See What’ll You Do In Prison With That Smile?”, Matt Gaetz DEMOLISHES Smirking Strzok

Gowdy’s question prompts procedural debate at Strzok hearing

Rep. Trey Gowdy questions FBI’s Peter Strzok in fierce grilling

Mike Johnson Corners Peter Strzok – BODY LANGUAGE OF A LIAR!

Jim Jordan on Strzok’s revelations about Bruce Ohr

Jim Jordan vs FBI Agent Peter Strzok in HEATED Exchange at Congress Hearing on Anti-Trump Texts

7-12-18 Mark Meadows (R-NC) Questions Strzok

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Rep. Louie Gohmert gets personal in heated exchange with Peter Strzok

Louie Gohmert vs Peter Strzok EXPLOSIVE Exchange at House Oversight Hearing about anti-Trump Texts

FBI agent Peter Strzok say political bias did not impact investigations

Wounded Marine Vet: ‘Disgraceful’ & ‘Disgusting’ for Dem Rep to Suggest Strzok Deserves Purple Heart

Republicans Picked The Wrong FBI Agent To Mess With (VIDEO)

Peter Strzok Holds His Own As Republicans Try To Put On Show At Hearing | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

“Trump Will Put You In Jail”, Trey Gowdy BRUTALLY DESTROYS FBI And Peter Strzok In An Awesome Speech

WATCH: Dems Bring Posters to Strzok Hearing to Show Guilty Pleas in Mueller Probe

Closing Statement From Hearing of Crooked FBI Agent Peter Strzok

Goodlatte: Lisa Page ‘apparently has something to hide’

Texts show Peter Strzok’s friendship with federal judge

Shapiro Mocks Democrats Celebrating Peter Strzok

Scott Adams Gives You a Hot Take On Peter Stzrok Testimony To Congress So Far

Scott Adams – Peter Strzok’s Body Language and Theresa May

Strzok Strikes Comedy Parody Gold: Think Percy Dovetonsils Meets Vincent D’Onofrio Meets Paul Lynde

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Paul Lynde’s – Hollywood Squares – BEST-1-LINERS Part 1

FBI Director James Comey’s full statement on Clinton email investigation

 

FBI agent defiantly rejects bias charges at chaotic hearing

Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

,

Associated Press

An embattled FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias launched a vigorous defense Thursday at an extraordinary congressional hearing that devolved into shouting matches, finger pointing and veiled references to personal transgressions.

Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after the discovery of derogatory text messages he traded with an FBI lawyer. He told lawmakers the texts in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he had never acted on, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he had set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

“At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took,” Strzok said.

The hearing brought a defiant Strzok face-to-face with Republican lawmakers who for months have held up his texts as the embodiment of anti-Trump bias within the FBI. In breaking his months-long silence, Strzok vigorously defended his handling of two hugely sensitive investigations in which he played a leading role: inquiries into Hillary Clinton’s email use and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

He insisted the FBI had good cause two years ago to start investigating whether the Trump campaign was working with the Kremlin amid allegations of what he described as a Russian offer of assistance to a Trump campaign associate. He characterized the anti-Trump text messages as personal communications that he never envisioned becoming public and denied that they had swayed his actions.

Strzok insisted under aggressive questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he said “we’ll stop” a Trump presidency followed Trump’s denigration of the family of a dead U.S. service member. He said the text, written late at night and off-the-cuff, reflected his belief that the American public would not stomach such “horrible, disgusting behavior” by the Republican presidential candidate.

But, he added in a raised voice and emphatic tone, “It was in no way — unequivocally — any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate. So, I take great offense, and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn’t.”

Plus, he said, both investigations were handled by large teams.

“They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them,” Strzok said. “That is who we are as the FBI. And the suggestion that I, in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI, would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. It simply couldn’t happen.”

Some Democrats applauded after he finished speaking.

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that text messages he exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page colored the outcome of the Clinton investigation and undercut the ongoing Russia probe. Strzok, a seasoned counterintelligence agent, helped lead both investigations but has since been reassigned to human resources.

“Agent Strzok had Hillary Clinton winning the White House before he finished investigating her,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him. That is bias. Agent Strzok may not see it but the rest of the country does, and it is not what we want, expect or deserve from any law enforcement officer much less the FBI.”

The hearing was punctuated by chaos and open yelling as Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said Strzok needed to answer Republicans’ questions and suggested they might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected to Goodlatte’s repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer. Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed without calling the panel into recess.

In his opening statement, Strzok said he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus put on him by Congress is misguided and plays into “our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”

Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was “blunt,” it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” he said.

He said he was one of the few people during the 2016 election who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with people in the Trump orbit, and that that information could have derailed Trump’s election chances. “But,” he said, “the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.”

Although Strzok has said through his lawyer that he was eager to tell his side of the story, he made clear his exasperation at being the focal point of a congressional hearing at a time when Russian election interference has been successfully “sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our institutions.”

“I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart,” Strzok said. “As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in.”

The contentious hearing follows hours of closed-door questioning last week. It also reflects an effort to shift attention away from the content of Strzok’s texts and onto what he says is the more pressing issue: the Russians’ “grave attack” on American democracy and continuing efforts to divide the country.

Republicans eager for ways to discredit Mueller’s investigation have for months held up the texts from Strzok and Page to support allegations of anti-Trump bias within federal law enforcement.

The Justice Department’s inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton. And many Democrats say actions taken by law enforcement during the campaign season, including announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton just days before the election, actually wound up harming the Democratic candidate and aiding the Republican candidate, Trump.

FBI Director Chris Wray says employees who were singled out for criticism in the report have been referred to internal disciplinary officials. Strzok’s lawyer has said he was escorted from the FBI building as the disciplinary process winds its way through the system.

Page is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday.

___

Associated Press writer Chad Day in Washington contributed to this report.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/fbi-agent-never-tainted-political-bias-080213902–politics.html

7 key moments from Peter Strzok’s wild hearing

July 12 at 6:21 PM
The fieriest moments from Peter Strzok’s hearing

The House hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok devolved into personal attacks, partisan exchanges and a perjury accusation. Here’s a look at the biggest moments.

This post has been updated.

FBI agent Peter Strzok had his moment on an extremely hot seat Thursday morning in a contentious hearing that quickly devolved into angry yelling, interjections and parliamentary maneuvering.

Appearing before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, Strzok sought to explain his anti-Trump text messages at a time when he was the lead agent on the FBI’s then-nascent Russia investigation in 2016. He was removed from the investigation in 2017 after those text messages with fellow FBI employee Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair, were discovered. Republicans including President Trump have seized upon Strzok’s texts — which included allusions to stopping Trump — as evidence of a biased and even corrupt law enforcement investigation.

Here are the key moments from the hearing.

1. The contempt threat

 3:07
Goodlatte cites subpoena as Strzok refuses to answer question

FBI agent Peter Strzok refused to answer a question about the Russia probe on July 12, sparking Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to attempt to force an answer. 

It didn’t take long for the hearing to explode. After the opening statements, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) lodged his first question: How many people did Strzok interview during the first eight days of the FBI’s Russia investigation, between July 31 and Aug. 8, 2016?

Strzok, as he previewed in his opening statement, said he had been advised by the FBI’s lawyers that he was not to address specifics of what is still an ongoing investigation. (The investigation was handed over to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in mid-2017.) Republicans quickly objected and threatened to hold Strzok in contempt. Democrats noted that it was unusual that Strzok be asked to disclose such details in a public setting.

Strzok said he didn’t have to answer the question because, despite being subpoenaed by the committee, he had previously said he would speak voluntarily.

“Mr. Chairman, I do not believe I am here under subpoena,” Strzok said. “I believe I am here voluntarily. … Based on that, I will not answer that question.”

Democrats argued that a witness such as Strzok would not be expected to publicly disclose sensitive information like the blueprint for a hydrogen bomb. Another moved to adjourn the hearing less than an hour after it began.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) finally said that Strzok would be recalled to the committee after the day’s hearing so that it could determine whether to hold him in contempt. But the tone was set.

2. Strzok’s angry retort: ‘It is deeply destructive’

 3:00
Strzok: Accusation of bias ‘deeply corrodes’ the FBI

FBI agent Peter Strzok explained the context of his text messages about Trump on July 12, and said his personal beliefs never factored into his actions. 

After more than 20 minutes of maneuvering and posturing following the subpoena discussion, Gowdy ended his interrogation of Strzok and Strzok was given the floor to respond. In a minutes-long retort, he called Gowdy’s and his Republican allies’ allegations of bias and improper actions “deeply destructive.”

He said that his text messages critical of Trump shortly after the investigation began were in response to Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail — and not a reflection of his investigative intent. He pointed in particular to Trump’s attacks on the Khans, a Gold Star family who spoke at the Democratic National Convention around that time.

“My presumption [was] based on that horrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States,” he said. “It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate. So I take great offense . . . ”

Strzok concluded the accusation against him and the line of questioning “deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive.” Some in the room applauded.

3. A perjury accusation — and a very personal attack

 9:43
Rep. Gohmert launches personal attacks against Peter Strzok

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) attacked FBI agent Peter Strzok on personal grounds, and then tried to refuse him the opportunity to respond on July 12. 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) seized upon Strzok’s contention that his texts didn’t demonstrate personal “bias” and said that argument amounted to him lying. When Democrats noted that Gohmert was basically accusing Strzok of perjury — given he made that claim under oath — Gohmert was unbowed.

Then he got personal — very personal.

“When I see you looking with a little smirk, I wonder how many times did you look so innocently into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Gohmert began. The hearing room erupted, with someone shouting “insane asylum” and someone else asserting that Gohmert needed medication.

In response, Strzok acknowledged “hurting” someone he described as a “family member.”

“The fact that you would question whether or not that was the sort of look,” he told Gohmert, “goes more to a discussion about your character.”

4. The transcript threat

 3:54
Democrats demand release of Strzok’s closed-door interview transcript

Democrats demanded that Republicans show them a rule that prohibits releasing the transcript from Peter Strzok’s closed-door interview, or they will release it.

One of the subplots here has been Democrats’ push to release the transcript of Strzok’s previous, closed-door testimony. They argue that it has been selectively leaked and described to impugn him.

So at one point early in the hearing, Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) said he intended to release the transcript himself — and asked whether there was any reason he couldn’t. Goodlatte stressed that it was the committee’s practice and that there was an agreement to keep closed-door hearings private while an investigation is ongoing.

Cicilline’s response: “We intend to release this transcript unless someone presents some rule that prevents us from doing it, and we’ll give you till 5 this afternoon to present that,” he said. “Otherwise we intend to release the transcript.”

Eventually Cicilline got some backup from GOP Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.), who happens to be the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

It’s worth noting that Goodlatte’s justification — that the committee’s investigation is ongoing — was the same one Strzok offered for not answering questions about the special counsel’s Russia probe. In the latter case, apparently, Republicans don’t think it applies.

Aaron Blake

@AaronBlake

The contrast here is pretty stark:

GOP in one breath threatens Strzok with contempt if he doesn’t detail Russia investigation, which is ongoing.

Then it says it won’t release transcript of Strzok’s initial testimony … because its investigation is ongoing.

5. Making him read his own texts

 3:21
Rep. Issa directs Peter Strzok to read his text messages aloud

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on July 12 asked FBI agent Peter Strzok to read aloud from some of his text messages turned over to the House Russia investigation. 

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took his five minutes to force Strzok to read some of his own texts — including ones that used vulgarities.

While reading one in which he used the f-word while talking about Trump, Strzok paused and asked how he should handle it, then finished. Then Issa asked him to read it again.

“Sir, was that not intelligible?” Strzok said. “You just want to hear — for me to repeat it.”

“Please,” Issa said.

“Okay, sir. Sure,” Strzok shot back snidely. “Happy to indulge you.”

6. A Democrat says Strzok should get a Purple Heart

The difference between the lines of questioning between Republicans and Democrats was, as usual, stark. While Republicans badgered Strzok and tried to catch him off-guard, Democrats mostly used their time to argue for the importance of the Mueller investigation.

But some Democrats decided to go further than that and to make Strzok a martyr — or even a hero. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) went the furthest.

“Mr. Strzok, if I could give you a Purple Heart, I would,” Cohen said when he began his questioning.

To recap, Strzok was removed from the Mueller investigation and harshly criticized by an inspector general. It is generally agreed that his text messages were problematic, regardless of if you think this reflects corruption and bias in all law enforcement or the Mueller probe.

7. ‘This is not Benghazi’

 2:11
Democrat erupts at Gowdy: ‘This is not Benghazi!’

As Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-N.C.) grilled FBI agent Peter Strzok on July 12, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) interjected and yelled at him to “leave it alone.” 

Democratic patience with the GOP’s treatment of Strzok quickly wore thin. Gowdy, in his role as head of the Oversight Committee, repeatedly afforded himself the chance to try to get under Strzok’s skin.

And toward the end of the hearing, the whole thing boiled over. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) yelled at Gowdy during one interrogation of Strzok, telling him to “leave it alone.”

“This is not Benghazi,” she said, referring to the years-long investigation Gowdy led into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, which Democrats contend that probe devolved into a witch hunt against Hillary Clinton.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/07/12/3-key-moments-from-peter-strzoks-wild-hearing/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.518d74885981

Peter Strzok

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Peter Strzok
Strzok1.png
Born 1969/1970 (age 47–48) [1]
Education Georgetown University (BSMA)[2]

Peter Strzok (/strʌk/, pronounced “struck”) (born 1969/1970) is a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent.[3][4] Strzok was the Chief of the Counterespionage Section and led the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.[5][4][6] Strzok rose to become the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position in that division. He also led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][7][8][9]

In June and July 2017, Strzok worked on Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation into any links or coordination between Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign and the Russian government.[10][7][9] Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation when he became aware of criticisms of Trump contained in personal text messages exchanged between Strzok and a colleague.[11][12] The revelation of the text messages led to accusations by Republican congressmen and conservative media that Strzok was involved in a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency; conservatives used the text messages as part of a campaign to discredit Mueller’s investigation. The Department of Justice, led by Republican Jeff Sessions, has defended Mueller’s response to the text messages.[13][10] A February 2018 comprehensive review by The Wall Street Journal of Strzok’s messages showed that “texts critical of Mr. Trump represent a fraction of the roughly 7,000 messages, which stretch across 384 pages and show no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump”.[14] After the release of the DOJ-OIG report, which revealed further anti-Trump texts from Strzok, he agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.[15]

Early life and education

For high school, Strzok attended St. John’s Preparatory School in Minnesota, graduating in 1987.[16] He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1991 as well as a master’s degree in 2013.[17] He is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[18][19][20] His father was a longtime member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[21] Like his father, Strzok served as an officer in the United States Army before joining the FBI in the 1990s as an intelligence research specialist.[8][22]

FBI

As of 2018, Strzok has a career of 22 years at the FBI.[23] He notably was the lead agent in FBI’s “Operation Ghost Stories” against Andrey Bezrukov and Yelena Vavilova, a Russian spy couple who were part of the Illegals Program, a network of Russian sleeper agents who were arrested in 2010.[24] By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section, a subordinate section of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.[4] He led a team of a dozen investigators during the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server and assisted in the drafting of public statements for then-FBI Director James Comey.[25] He changed the description of Clinton’s actions from “grossly negligent”, which could be a criminal offense, to “extremely careless”.[4] The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process. In his statement to Congress, Comey said that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges based on available evidence.[4] Later, when additional emails were discovered a few days before the election, Strzok supported reopening the Clinton investigation.[26] He then co-wrote the letter[27] that Comey used to inform Congress, which “reignited the email controversy in the final days” and “played a key role in a controversial FBI decision that upended Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”[26]

Due to his acknowledged expertise and reliability, Strzok rose to the position of Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, and as the number two official within that division oversaw investigations involving Russia and China.[10][28][8] In that capacity, he led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections,[4][29] and examined both the Donald Trump–Russia dossier and the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak.[30][3][25] He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; Flynn later pled guilty to lying during those interviews.[31]

In July 2017, Strzok became the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller‘s 2017 Special Counsel investigation looking into any links or coordination between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government.[32][33] He served in that position until August 2017, at which time he began working in the Human Resources Branch.[34][35] According to The New York Times, Strzok was “considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators,”[22] as well as “one of the Bureau’s top experts on Russia” according to CNN.[4] Strzok left the investigation in late July 2017 after the discovery of personal text messages sent to a colleague.[36] At the request of Republicans in Congress, the Justice Department (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) began an inquiry in January 2017 into how the FBI handled investigations related to the election, and the IG announced it would issue a report by March or April 2018.[22][37] The report was eventually released on June 14, 2018, after several delays.

On June 15, 2018, the day after this IG report was published, Strzok was escorted from FBI headquarters as part of the bureau’s internal conduct investigations.[38] The move put Strzok on notice that the bureau intends to fire him, though he has appeal rights that could delay such action.[39] On June 21, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Strzok had lost his security clearance.[40]

Text messages

During the IG’s investigation, thousands of text messages exchanged using FBI-issued cell phones between Strzok and Lisa Page, a trial attorney on Mueller’s team, were examined.[41][42][41][42] The texts were sent between August 15, 2015 and December 1, 2016. At the request of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ turned over 375 of these text messages to the House Judiciary Committee.[41][42][43] Some of the texts disparaged then-presidential candidate Donald Trump,[41][42][44][45] Chelsea Clinton, Attorney General in the Obama administration Eric Holder, former Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley, and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Bernie Sanders.[46][47][1] Strzok called Trump an “idiot” in August 2015 and texted “God Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0” after a Republican debate in March 2016.[41][42][48] In their messages, Strzok and Page also advocated for creating a Special Counsel to investigate the Hillary Clinton email controversy, and discussed suggesting former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald be considered for such a probe.[49] Devlin Barrett from The Washington Post alleged Strzok and Page had been using the backdrop of discussing the Clinton investigation as a cover for their personal communications during an affair.[50] Upon learning of the text messages, Mueller removed Strzok from the investigation.[22] Messages released in January 2018 showed that Strzok was hesitant to join the Mueller investigation, with Page encouraging him not to.[51]

Strzok’s colleagues and a former Trump administration official said that Strzok had never shown any political bias.[52][44] An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton emails.[52] According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was not uncommon for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation.[53] Several agents asserted that Mueller had removed Strzok to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s Russia investigation.[54] Strzok was not punished following his reassignment.[55] Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said no professional misconduct between them occurred.[44]

The decision by the DOJ to publicize the private messages in December 2017 was controversial. Statements by DOJ spokeswomen revealed that some reporters had copies of the texts even before the DOJ invited the press to review them, but the DOJ did not authorize the pre-release. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have asked for a review of the circumstances under which the texts were leaked to select press outlets.[56]

The Office of Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation published on June 14, 2018, criticized Strzok’s text messages for creating the appearance of impropriety.[57] However, the report concluded that there was no evidence of bias in the FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton.[57] The report revealed additional texts hostile to Donald Trump by Strzok. In early August 2016, after Page asked Strzok, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”[58] Many Democrats noted that the FBI’s actions during 2016 presidential campaign, such as reopening the Clinton email investigation on the eve of the election and elements within the FBI telling the New York Times that there was no clear link between the Trump campaign and Russia, ended up harming the Clinton campaign and benefitting the Trump campaign.[58]

At a July 12, 2018, public congressional hearing, Strzok denied that the personal beliefs expressed in the text messages impacted his work for the FBI.[57] Strzok explained that a “We’ll stop Trump” text message was written late at night and off-the-cuff shortly after Trump denigrated the immigrant family of a fallen American war hero, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, and that the message reflected Strzok’s belief that Americans would not vote for a candidate who engaged in such “horrible, disgusting behavior”.[57] Strzok said the message “was in no way – unequivocally – any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate.”[57] Strzok added that he knew of information during the 2016 presidential campaign that could have damaged Trump but that he never contemplated leaking it.[57] Strzok also said that he criticized politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in his “blunt” text messages.[57] Strzok’s said that the investigation into him and the Republicans’ related rhetoric was misguided and played into “our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”[57]

Reactions

Strzok’s personal messages to Lisa Page have been used by Republicans to attack the impartiality of Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the election. Conservative media outlets and Republicans have used the text messages as part of an aggressive campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation and protect President Trump. Other Republicans have defended Mueller and his work, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who said that he would only fire Mueller if there was actual cause under DOJ regulations, and that no such cause existed. Rosenstein also praised Mueller for removing Strzok from the Russian investigation.[13]

Republican allegations

In late January 2018, a number of congressional Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson, asserted that they had evidence that pointed towards FBI agents working clandestinely to undermine the Trump presidency; they asserted that Strzok and Page were in a “secret society” against Trump.[59] Fox News amplified these claims.[60] Congressional Republicans refused to release the evidence behind the assertion, but ABC News obtained a copy of the message that Republicans were referring to and noted that the message that refers to a “secret society” may have been made in jest.[59] The day after his assertion that these messages demonstrated “corruption at the highest levels of the FBI” and after a copy of the messages were revealed by ABC News, Johnson walked back his comments and said that there was a “real possibility” that the messages were made in jest.[61]

In February 2018, Johnson speculated that a text message between FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page raised questions about “the type and extent of President Obama’s personal involvement” in the Clinton emails investigation.[62] Fox News reiterated, without scrutiny, Ron Johnson’s speculative claim that text messages between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggested that President Barack Obama was deeply involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.[60] Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan did not answer an inquiry from CNN about whether Fox News reached out to Obama for comment.[60] Johnson’s claim was covered by various pro-Trump websites, such as Drudge ReportBreitbartInfoWars and The Gateway Pundit, before President Trump himself tweeted “NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!”[60] Other news outlets reported that the text messages were sent in September 2016, months after the Clinton emails investigation had concluded, and three days before Obama would confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about interference in the 2016 election at the G20 Hangzhou summit.[60][63] Associates of Strzok and Page told The Wall Street Journal the texts were about the FBI’s investigation into Russian electoral interference.[62] Fox News continued to report the story even after these news outlets had provided this context for the messages.[60]

Fox News commentary

While referring to Strzok’s messages, some commentators on the Fox News Channel intensified their anti-Mueller rhetoric. Jesse Watters said that Mueller’s investigation now amounted to a coup against President Trump, if “the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes”.[64][65][66][67][68] Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said that the FBI and DOJ were working clandestinely to destroy the Trump presidency, and called for a “war” against the “deep state”.[69] One guest on Fox’s talk and news show Outnumbered, Kevin Jackson, speculated that Strzok’s messages were evidence of a plot by FBI agents to make “an assassination attempt or whatever” against President Trump, which other Fox hosts quickly contradicted and said was not “credible”.[70] Fox News figures referred to the investigation as “corrupt”, “crooked” and “illegitimate”, and likened the FBI to the KGB, the brutal Soviet-era spy organization.[64] Political scientists and experts on coups rejected that Mueller’s investigation amounted to a coup.[64]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Strzok

 

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